PD: Children help mom in stolen merchandise wholesale operation from Phoenix home

Alma Delfina Benitez.jpg
Posted at 12:12 PM, Jun 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-13 15:59:35-04

PHOENIX — Children of a north Phoenix mom allegedly helped her buy and sell stolen items from their home.

Phoenix police report that on June 6, they arrested 35-year-old Alma Delfina Benitez at her home near 19th Avenue and Greenway Road.

Police say on nine occasions, Benitez bought what she thought were stolen items from undercover detectives. She "routinely brought her juvenile children with her to purchase the simulated stolen items," according to court records. Benitez would then resell the items online in hopes of turning a profit.

Police say the children, ages 9, 14, and 16, were also actively involved in the home-based operation by contacting clients and selling and receiving stolen merchandise from their home. Sometimes the children would sell or collect items from shoplifters when their mother wasn't home.

Upon her arrest, Benitez allegedly told police that she had been actively buying and selling stolen merchandise for the past eight years.

Police say Benitez served as a stolen merchandise wholesaler, buying stolen items and then reselling them to her clients. Court records show that she mostly dealt with stolen shampoo, baby formula, detergent and batteries.

She has been charged with trafficking in stolen property and illegal control of an enterprise.