By Elaine Porterfield
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Six people have been charged with running a pair of Seattle-area shoplifting rings that stole an estimated $6 million in merchandise and resold it elsewhere, prosecutors said on Thursday.
One of the shoplifting rings employed as many as 25 full-time thieves, or "boosters" who stole up to $1,000 a day from area retailers, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg said.
The alleged ringleaders in that case, Sara Kong, 40, and Chanthou Rim, 38, have been charged with seven counts of attempted trafficking in stolen property, criminal solicitation and conspiracy to commit organized retail theft.
Satterberg said Kong and Rim are accused of reselling the goods, which were shoplifted from stores including Safeway, Fred Meyer, QFC, Target and Albertsons, at a discount to smaller stores throughout King County.
Kong and Rim each face a maximum sentence of 47 to 63 months in prison if convicted at trial.
In the second, unrelated case, four people who ran the GMS Market in Seattle have been charged with paying thieves to shoplift goods from area retailers to resell at GMS or on a website.
Gulshan Rai, 56, his wife Shabnam Sukhija, 57, have been charged along with their 36-year-old son, Jatin Rai and his wife, Mitu Rai, 35, with various counts of trafficking in stolen goods and retail theft.
(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Greg McCune)