Police Arrest Men Who Allegedly Stole Over $450,000 From Major Department Store

Vincente Ponsoda (Photo courtesy of the State Police)

HILLSBOROUGH–Members of the New Jersey State Police Cargo Theft Unit arrested two men and foiled an alleged merchandise theft operation, authorities announced Thursday. The detectives recovered over $450,000 in goods reported stolen from a major department store distribution center in Secaucus. The stolen goods included designer clothing, high-end perfume, and bedding

In October 2010, State Police detective Freddy Araujo led an investigation into a pattern of ongoing theft noticed by the retailer. The investigation led to two suspects, Vincente Ponsoda, 56, of Belle Mead and Konstantinos Hantsoulis, 38, of Highland Park, authorities said.

Konstantinos Hantsoulis (Photo courtesy of the State Police)

Hantsoulis, a merchandise representative at the department store distribution center, handled misdirected freight, most commonly defined as items that were accidentally sent to the department store, authorities said. Instead of sending the misdirected items back to the rightful owners, Hantsoulis allegedly arranged for the items to be picked up by Ponsoda in a rental truck. Ponsoda would then allegedly sell the merchandise at flea markets.

On March 27, search warrants were executed at several units in a self-storage facility in Hillsborough rented by Ponsoda. Inside, detectives located a large amount of allegedly stolen merchandise from several major retailers. The recovered merchandise was valued at over $450,000.

Konstantinos Hantsoulis was charged with second degree theft. He was released pending a court appearance in Secaucus. Vincente Ponsoda was charged with second degree theft and second degree receiving stolen property. He was released pending court appearances in Secaucus and Hillsborough.

The charges against the defendants are merely accusations; they are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

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