MENTOR, Ohio — Two convenience store owners face charges after being accused of buying stolen property and then selling it in their stores.
According to Mentor Police Department, the arrests happened May 21 after a joint investigation that began in March regarding the sale of stolen merchandise to small retail businesses.
A search warrant was served at Convenient Food Mart, 7488 Mentor Ave., in Mentor, where Vaishali K. Kasabwala, 37, of Mentor, was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property and four counts of receiving stolen property.
Ohio Investigative Unit agents also filed administrative charges against the store’s liquor permit. The store was administratively charged with receiving stolen property and theft.
Additionally, a search warrant was also served at Convenient Food Mart, 7865 Munson Road, in Mentor-on-the-Lake. There, Shatrugan D. Patel, 40, of Mentor-on-the-Lake, was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property.
That store was also charged with receiving stolen property, theft and purchase of alcohol for resale from other than an authorized distributor.
According to police, the investigation was an approach to combating retail thefts related to the purchase of drugs. Police said in many situations, addicts steal items on a daily basis and sell them to businesses such as this in order to fund their narcotic habit.
Police said it’s especially true with heroin users, which has become a large problem in many communities.
In a release issued Thursday, police said:
“We will continue our efforts to investigate these crimes and charge the people involved who are enabling drug users by giving them an avenue to sell stolen items.”