Pair Indicted in Organized Retail Crime Operation

December 21, 2022

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lindsay Corcoran (508) 368-7252 or (774) 670-8811

WORCESTER – A 68-year-old man has been indicted on charges related to leading an organized retail crime operation, while a 43-year-old woman was also indicted on a single count for her role in the operation, according to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

A Worcester County Grand Jury handed up indictments this week against John F. Duplease, Jr., of Lancaster, and Penny Williams, of Fitchburg. Duplease was indicted on four counts including leader of organized retail theft enterprise, aggravated organized retail crime, organized retail crime, and failure to secure a firearm. Williams was indicted for organized retail crime.

On May 8, 2021, Duplease was arrested by Lancaster Police, who were investigating him along with the Leominster Police and the Massachusetts State Police for more than a year. Duplease allegedly had more than 20 individuals working for him to shoplift property from local retail establishments. He is accused of storing the stolen items at his home in Lancaster and his business on Central Street in Leominster before reselling the stolen property online.

Williams allegedly worked for Duplease by receiving and paying for stolen property, as well as shipping the resold merchandise.

Both Duplease and Williams were previously arraigned in Leominster District Court and ultimately released on $2,500 cash bails. Duplease faced charges in Clinton District Court, as well. The indictment moves the cases against Duplease and Williams to Worcester Superior Court where they will be arraigned at a later date.

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