BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - Three suburban individuals have been charged with stealing nearly $300,000 in retail cargo, including over 200 televisions.
Baraa Abuowda, 36, of Orland Park, Sammih Kasem, 28, of Orland Hills, and Imad Qendah, 40, of Burbank, have been charged with two counts of Class 1 felony theft and two counts of Class 2 felony theft.
The three defendants allegedly stole a shipping container full of several pallets of televisions that were in transit to be sold at a retail store.
Investigators used GPS tracking from shipping containers to locate the stolen cargo, authorities said.
Video and in-person surveillance was used to confirm that the stolen merchandise was being unloaded from the containers at a location in Bridgeview.
The stolen televisions were recovered.
"Organized retail crime is not limited to occurring at brick-and-mortar retailers and can instead take place anywhere along the supply chain," Attorney General Kwame Raoul said. "The Organized Retail Crime Task Force allows investigators and prosecutors in my office to better collaborate with our law enforcement partners and retailers to protect consumers and combat the rise in retail crime. I would like to thank the law enforcement agencies that collaborated across jurisdictions to investigate this case."
All three defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Kasem’s next court date is scheduled for Aug. 17, Qendah’s is scheduled for Aug. 24 and Abuowda’s is scheduled for Sept. 28.