Feds: 3 brothers busted in Western Lowe’s thefts



SEATTLE (AP) — Federal authorities say three brothers led a scheme to steal $130,000 worth of items from Lowe’s home improvement stores in four Western states by smuggling them out in toilet or sink boxes.

A complaint unsealed in Seattle this week says that since late 2007, the men plus one of their sons have been going into the stores, emptying toilets or sinks out of their boxes, packing the boxes with high-end faucets or other items, and then checking out — paying the price of the toilet or sink when the box actually contained goods worth much more. The complaint says two women worked with them.

They’re accused of then returning the items to different Lowe’s stores in Washington, Oregon, California and Arizona for gift cards totaling about $130,000.

Two of the brothers — Altor and Larsell Hollingsworth — have been arrested. Altor’s son, Alton, and the other brother, Leonard, remain at large.

A lawyer for Larsell Hollingsworth declined to comment except to note his client is presumed innocent. A lawyer for Altor could not immediately be reached after hours Wednesday.