- Associated Press - Saturday, March 11, 2017

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - State authorities say a woman has admitted running an organized retail shoplifting ring that stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from southern New Jersey stores.

Chiara Pender faces a five-year prison term when she’s sentenced May 26. She also will have to pay restitution to the stores that the ring targeted.

The 30-year-old Millville woman pleaded guilty Friday to leading an organized retail theft enterprise.

Authorities say the ring stole more than $20,000 over a six-month period in 2016. They say members would steal merchandise from a store and then either return the items to the same store or another location of the same chain.

The members would often receive gift cards with store credit for the returns, which were sold at a discount to pawn shops.

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