Giuffrida
Giuffrida

Alleged West York retail theft ringleader James Giuffrida and 21 others waived their preliminary hearings Thursday afternoon, sending the charges to county court.

Giuffrida, who was already charged with organized retail theft, conspiracy to commit organized retail theft, retail theft and receiving stolen property, had two additional charges laid against him.

Police filed two new charges against Giuffrida - corrupt organizations and dealing in proceeds of illegal activity, which he waived for court.

York County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Lishani S. Sunday described those who waived their hearings as "higher ups" in the alleged ring.

Giuffrida, 30, whose last known address is in the 1400 block of West Market Street, remains in York County prison in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Ron Gross, Giuffrida's defense attorney, said that despite his client's waiving the charges to court, he maintains his innocence.

Ring: All told, 110 people were arrested for their alleged involvement in the ring.

West York Police allege Giuffrida headed a highly organized theft network active since 2009, whose activity started to branch out and grow in late 2011.

Ring members allegedly stole merchandise - valued at $750,000 - at the direction of Giuffrida, who then bought and sold the items. Members also exchanged the items for store gift cards, which Giuffrida also then bought for less than face value and sold at a profit, police allege.

The ring operated in York, Adams, Cumberland, Lancaster and Lebanon counties, as well as the two Maryland counties, police said.

Sunday said the remaining 89 people charged in the ring will have preliminary hearings in the future.

The fact that all 22 waived their hearings Thursday shows that police have built a solid case against them, she said.

"I think we have a pretty good case against James Giuffrida," she said.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.