Angel Mesa, 50, of Greeley, was sentenced to 30 months in the Colorado Department of Corrections for his part in a series of detergent thefts in Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland and Longmont. Mesa has a lengthy series of convictions in both Weld and Larimer counties for drugs, illegal and drunk driving, and theft.
Mesa was on parole when he was arrested by Loveland police in connection with the Tide thefts. He was serving a 12-year DOC sentence when police swooped in on the gang.
Mesa pleaded guilty to the Tide thefts Jan. 3 and was sentenced by Judge Dan Kaup the same day.
According to police, Mesa led a gang of people who would walk into area grocery stores and big-box retailers and walk out with shopping carts loaded with Tide detergent.
Thieves steal Tide because it's virtually untraceable and has a high resale value, and they usually face only misdemeanor shoplifting charges. Loveland police brought felony charges against Mesa by collecting surveillance video from several area shops to show he was responsible for more than $1,000 worth of thefts.
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