Deputies lead largest organized retail theft bust in state history

law enforcement agencies executed 16 search warrants and five arrest warrants

October 8, 2020

Sheriff's deputies on Sept. 30 arrested five people and recovered more than $8 million in stolen property at locations in San Mateo County and throughout the Bay Area in what is being described by police as the largest organized retail theft bust in California history.

Danny Louis Drago, 50, of Concord, Edgar Geovany Robles-Morales, 28, of San Francisco, Isis Vasquez-Villanueva, 26, of San Francisco, Jose Villatoro, 45, of Concord, and Michelle Renee Fowler, 48, of Concord, are all in custody on bail ranging from $50,000 to $200,000. They've been charged with felonies including criminal profiteering, money laundering, possession of stolen property and organized retail theft, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The investigation, dubbed operation "Proof of Purchase," stemmed from multiple commercial burglaries, auto burglaries and residential burglaries in San Mateo County. Most of the property from these burglaries were commercial retail merchandise, electronics, laptops and cameras, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The investigation led authorities to an organization in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood that was purchasing and then selling the stolen property to suspects operating a distribution warehouse in Concord.

On Sept. 30, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Crime Suppression Unit along with other law enforcement agencies executed 16 search warrants and five arrest warrants. The search warrants were executed at three residences, two distribution warehouses and 11 storage units. In addition to $8 million in stolen property, police seized more than $85,000 in cash.

The Sheriff's Office said it will be working over the next two weeks to identify the victims and rightful owners of this property and will return it to them when possible.

Anyone who may have information to provide about these individuals or these crimes is encouraged to contact the San Mateo County Crime Suppression Unit by emailing Sergeant Leishman at or an anonymous tip can be provided by calling (800) 547-2700.

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Deputies lead largest organized retail theft bust in state history | Local News | smdailyjournal.com

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