According to the Fresno Police Auto Theft Team, someone contacted one of the players via Facebook, offering to return the gear to the players for the tidy "finder's fee" of around $650.
Ah, but what the, ahem, good Samaritans on Facebook didn't count on: The players going to the police, who took it from there. From KSEE News:
Sgt. Timothy Tietjen said, "One of our officers posed as one of the hockey players, and was on the phone and negotiating a deal. They met here at Milburn & Herndon in the parking lot, actually negotiated the deal with the females. For $650 they would exchange the property."
At that point, officers closed in on the suspects arresting 31-year-old Athena Cadena, and 31-year-old Stacey Levesque. Three men who were in the area and believed to be accomplices were also arrested.
Six-hundred bucks when the gear totals in the thousands? Don't these people have access to a hockey gear price guide?
Police recovered all of the hockey gear, along with auto theft tools, stolen and/or counterfeit IDs and "a replica handgun", which is a polite way of saying that these criminal masterminds arrived at this $650 shakedown packing a toy pistol.
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