PALMDALE – A 25-year-old Palmdale woman was arrested Thursday for stealing baby formula from a Target Store in Palmdale.
Tiffanie Seniguar is believed to be part of a baby formula theft ring that has been stealing “Enfamil” from stores throughout southern California, authorities said.
“It’s looks like there are five players,” said Palmdale Station Lt. Cory Kennedy. “Because she [Seniguar] had the car, she was the main player that was driving around and going to all these different locations.”
Kennedy said the baby formula theft ring hit retail stores in Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita Valley, Glendale, Burbank, and multiple locations in the Los Angeles Police Department jurisdiction. (View a list of some of the locations hit by the baby formula theft ring here.)
“What they do is they go into the store carrying a large empty purse, and because formula is not one of those items that they lock down, they just basically stack it up and they walk out with the big purse full of formula,” Kennedy said.
About three weeks ago, detectives in Santa Clarita were able to get the license plate of the getaway vehicle, which was traced back to a Palmdale address, Kennedy said. But the real break in the case for Palmdale detectives came on August 4, when Seniguar was caught stealing Enfamil from a Lancaster Walmart, Kennedy said.
“Basically, [she] told security ‘you can’t stop me’ and drove off and went back to Palmdale,” Kennedy said. “And that young deputy in Lancaster drove all the way to that house and he arrested her, and that gave us the break that we needed.”
Seniguar was convicted in the Lancaster incident.
“She got convicted, but walked out at the same take, which wasn’t what I wanted to happen because I knew about all the other cases that were going on,” Kennedy said.
Shortly after, Seniguar was identified as being on video in multiple stores throughout southern California committing similar crimes – including a June 25 theft at Target in Palmdale.
“Our suspects in my case were two females,” Kennedy said. “The other suspects in the other different venues were males and females.”
Armed with an arrest warrant, detectives went to Seniguar’s residence in Palmdale and arrested her at 1:15 p.m., Thursday for the Palmdale incident, Kennedy said.
During her interrogation, Seniguar admitted to being involved in multiple incidents, Kennedy added. Palmdale detectives are working closely with the other affected law enforcement agencies to coordinate the arrests of the other involved suspects. They’re also investigating what the ring was doing with the large quantities of stolen baby formula.
There was a similar case in Palmdale a couple of years ago, and the thieves were sending the formula to Mexico, Kennedy said.
“Those cans of formula can go anywhere from 18 to 20 bucks a can,” he said. “They’re turning around and selling them to whoever they’re selling them to for six to seven bucks, and then they’re shipped off. The problem with that is the stuff has an expiration date too, and there’s no control.”
Seniguar remains jailed on $30,000 bail and is expected to be charged with commercial burglary on Monday, Kennedy said. Detectives are still searching for the other female involved in the Palmdale case.
“We will get her today,” Kennedy said. “We would have got her last night, but her address was no good.”
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Lt. Kennedy at 661-272-2506.