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Chandler couple arrested for baby formula theft ring

Posted at 10:37 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 01:37:56-04

CHANDLER, AZ — An estimated $55,000 worth of baby formula has been swiped from several Valley stores, and police say it all links back to one Chandler couple.

Chandler police arrested Rafid Khoshi and Manal Sulaiman last Friday; the couple facing more than 20 charges combined including theft, trafficking of stolen goods, fraud, and illegal control of an enterprise.

Police say their investigation started in September of last year when they caught two people trying to steal the formula. Those suspects told police they were planning to sell them to a 'third party" who was "requesting to buy upwards of 1000 cans at a time if they could obtain it."

Police say after months of surveillance into more than 100 thefts in Maricopa County undercover work led them to Khoshi and Sulaiman. Both purchased formula from their undercover officer, posing as a thief.

Court documents say the two knowingly ran an "organized theft ring," purchasing the stolen goods, then reselling it.

Police accuse Khoshi of recruiting people off sites like OfferUp to bring him large amounts of formula, even asking for specific brands he said were "top sellers."

When arrested, Khoshi told police he only sold formula as a hobby and tried to "minimize his involvement in the case."