Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


Shawn Nanez pleads guilty to multiple felonies for stealing more than $145,000 in merchandise in King, Pierce and Kitsap counties

PORT ORCHARD — The first prosecution by Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s new Organized Retail Crime Unit ended in a conviction today, when a Bremerton man pleaded guilty to stealing and then selling tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise.

Shawn Nanez, 33, pleaded guilty in Kitsap County Superior Court to two felony counts of first-degree organized retail theft, one felony count of second-degree organized retail theft, and one felony count of first-degree theft, stemming from 28 different thefts at Target stores in Kitsap, Pierce and King counties. The value of the stolen merchandise, which he later sold to a third party, totals more than $145,000. The Attorney General’s Office will seek full restitution for Nanez’s thefts.

The judge sentenced Nanez to two and a half years in prison and another two and a half years in community custody under a Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA), meaning Nanez must also receive substance abuse treatment upon his release from prison. If Nanez violates the law or the terms of his DOSA, the Department of Corrections can revoke the DOSA and he would serve the remainder of his sentence in prison.

Nanez’s conviction resolves the first-ever prosecution by Ferguson’s new Organized Retail Crime Unit, which was created in partnership with the Legislature in 2023.

“This conviction is the first of many in our effort to combat a significant and growing problem in Washington,” Ferguson said. “We will continue holding accountable offenders who engage in these sophisticated crimes that harm businesses, workers and our economy.”

The details of Nanez’s thefts were virtually the same: Video footage captured Nanez, wearing a bucket hat and face mask, placing a large tote in a shopping cart, then using a tool to break into secured cases containing electronics or other high-priced items. Nanez then filled the tote with thousands of dollars in merchandise before leaving the store without paying.

Nanez was a known shoplifter to local loss prevention teams. In one theft incident, store employees tried to intervene and Nanez pushed them and fled with the stolen items.

Nanez committed the 28 thefts during a three-month period between April and June 2022. The value of merchandise stolen by the defendant across all three counties is approximately $145,766.

After his arrest in June 2022, Nanez confessed to investigators that he routinely sold stolen merchandise to a third party in exchange for cash.

Attorney General accepted referrals to prosecute Nanez

The Attorney General accepted referrals from the King and Kitsap county prosecuting attorneys’ offices to prosecute Nanez. The Attorney General’s Office does not have authority to initiate criminal investigations, unless it receives and accepts a referral from a county prosecutor or the governor.

The Kitsap County prosecutor initially charged Nanez with organized retail theft in January 2023. The Attorney General took over the prosecution in October 2023. In November 2023, Ferguson charged the defendant with the same crime for his thefts in King County. That case, as well as the Pierce County case, were moved to Kitsap County to resolve simultaneously.

Assistant Attorney General Nick Kiewik handled the case for Washington. 

In February, Ferguson filed charges in another case in King County Superior Court, marking the unit’s second criminal prosecution. In that case, the Attorney General’s Office accepted referrals from prosecuting attorneys’ offices in six counties.  

Shellonda K. Daniel faces two counts of felony first-degree organized retail theft, stemming from 28 alleged thefts at Ulta stores in King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties totaling more than $200,000.

Organized Retail Crime Unit created to offer centralized resources

Ferguson partnered with the Legislature to create a central Organized Retail Crime Unit in 2023. The need for a centralized unit and more investigative and prosecutorial resources was identified by Ferguson’s Organized Retail Crime Theft Task Force, which convened in 2022. The Task Force includes representatives from state, local and federal law enforcement, small and large businesses, and retail workers.

The Organized Retail Crime Unit is available to assist with investigations — including coordinating them across multiple jurisdictions — and deploy resources where they are most needed. The unit can prosecute cases referred to the office by county prosecutors.

Initial funding for the 10-person unit became available July 1, 2023, with more coming July 1 of this year. The office has hired two prosecutors and two investigators and is in the process of hiring more investigators, paralegals and a data analyst. Ferguson announced in November that Assistant Attorney General Kent Liu, a criminal prosecutor who has worked for the office for more than 15 years, would lead the unit.

Organized retail crime involves a group of individuals that steal products in order to resell them for a profit. This does not include petty theft, shoplifting or poverty-driven crimes. Organized retail crime differs from burglary and larceny — such as shoplifting — in that it is not the result of a single individual breaking the law, but rather part of an organized scheme to defraud retailers or to steal products for resale elsewhere. Organized crime can result in intimidation and violence for employees in those stores.

Nine other states have a task force dedicated to organized retail crime. Multiple states recently established similar units in their state attorney general’s office, including Arizona and Michigan.


Washington’s Attorney General serves the people and the state of Washington. As the state’s largest law firm, the Attorney General’s Office provides legal representation to every state agency, board, and commission in Washington. Additionally, the Office serves the people directly by enforcing consumer protection, civil rights, and environmental protection laws. The Office also prosecutes elder abuse, Medicaid fraud, and handles sexually violent predator cases in 38 of Washington’s 39 counties. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

Media Contact:

Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.aho@atg.wa.gov

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