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Detroit Man Arraigned on 5 Counts of Organized Retail Fraud
September 15, 2023
LANSING – Today Kevin Tansil, 64, of Detroit, was arraigned before Judge Vikki Bayeh Haley in the 67th District Court in Grand Blanc on five counts of Organized Retail Fraud for his role in an alleged theft and resale ring targeting Sam’s Club stores across mid- and southeast-Michigan, announced Attorney General Dana Nessel.
In April of this year Michigan State Police and Sam’s Club investigators began investigating a group observed entering Sam’s Club locations and conducting “push-out” thefts, whereby carts are loaded with merchandise and simply walked out the front door without making any purchase. Tansil is alleged to have conducted such thefts at locations in Auburn Hills, Grand Blanc, Lansing, and Ypsilanti. Targeted merchandise included bottled liquor, electronic equipment, and sea food. The state alleges the group to be responsible for stealing more than $80,000 worth of product with the intent to resell the product.
The case against Tansil was handled by the Attorney General’s newly established Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Unit operating with Michigan State Police as the ‘FORCE’ Team. Organized retail crime entails coordinated efforts to steal product from retailers with the intent to resell in either legitimate or illegitimate marketplaces.
"Our FORCE Team and the Organized Retail Crime Unit are working hand in hand with retail companies to investigate and prosecute these coordinated theft and resale schemes,” said Nessel. “In only its first year of operation, the FORCE Team has already brought multiple charges against the operators of these often sophisticated crime rings that cost Michigan retailers millions of dollars every year.”
The ‘FORCE’ Team and the Organized Retail Crime Unit were established in January by the Attorney General to target criminal organizations that steal products from retailers to repackage and sell for a profit. Two assistant attorneys general serve the unit full time, working with special agents within the Department of Attorney General and Michigan State Police detectives to investigate and prosecute these crimes. This is a first-in-the-nation unit, unique in the 50 states as being the first such unit with embedded, dedicated staff from the Department of Attorney General.
The ‘FORCE’ Team is dedicated to working collaboratively with retailers and local law enforcement agencies to combat organized retail crime. Local law enforcement agencies or retailers with evidence of organized retail fraud are encouraged to email the ‘FORCE’ Team.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Department does not provide booking photos.