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Updated Apr 22, 2013 - 4:35 pm

Gilbert man accused of stealing from 19 retailers

Larry Ruthenberg (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

GILBERT, Ariz. -- A Gilbert man is in custody for allegedly using his wheelchair-bound mother to steal more than $130,000 worth of products from retail stores.

Gilbert police say 61-year-old Larry Ruthenberg is being held on suspicion of fraudulent schemes and organized retail theft.

They say Ruthenburg has been arrested multiple times for retail fraud in Michigan and he and his 89-year-old mother Doris moved to Arizona last June.

Gilbert police say Ruthenburg and his mother allegedly were involved in 32 thefts over a five-day span from 19 retailers.

Police say the two then allegedly sold the items -- still in their original packaging -- at Gilbert garage sales.

Authorities say they seized three truckloads of stolen merchandise from Ruthenburg's home and several storage lockers.

Police say charges after Ruthenburg's mother are pending.

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