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Four reputed gang members are suspected of committing more than 50 shoplifting crimes at stores in Torrance and across the county, stealing women's clothing, leaving without paying, then selling the merchandise for profit, police said Monday.

The men's arrests follow a three-month Torrance police investigation that linked the crimes to a Compton-based gang, Torrance police Sgt. Robert Watt said. The District Attorney's Office filed charges against them last week.

"They were stealing from Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, and Ross in our city and they were fencing the property for cash," Watt said.

Charged with multiple counts of commercial burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and possession of stolen property are: Javon Jerry Zachery, 21, of Compton; Dean Hampton, 26, of Lynwood; Reginald Wilson, 20, of Compton; and Avion Speed, 21, of Bellflower.

Zachery was arrested Feb. 28, and Hampton on Feb. 21. Warrants were issued for Wilson's and Speed's arrest.

Torrance investigators pinned them to 16 commercial burglaries in Torrance and at least 34 crimes throughout Los Angeles County, Watt said.

"It all started with a routine traffic stop by patrol which uncovered the initial theft at Marshalls and, through their investigation with work from our gang detail, they were able to uncover the bigger picture," Watt said.

The men, police said, entered department stores, selected large amounts of women's clothing - especially dress shoes and purses - hid it under their clothing, and left without paying.

They then sold it. Thousands of dollars worth of property was taken, Watt said.

"It was a pretty organized plot," Watt said.

Detectives served warrants in Compton and Bellflower recently, discovering stolen property that linked them to the crimes, Watt said.

The investigators tied the men to a street gang in Compton, which allowed prosecutors to add gang enhancements to all of the suspects' charges, Watt said. The enhancements, which allege the crimes were committed for the benefit of their gang, could result in longer jail sentences and make them ineligible to be set free from prison early under the state's early release program for non-violent offenders.