On Wednesday, 03/01/2023, members of the Connecticut State Police Statewide Organized Crime Investigative Task Force (SOCITF) executed a search and seizure warrant at Smokey's convenience store, located at 825A Main Street, in Hartford. The search warrant was the result of a three-month long investigation into alleged organized retail theft activity at the location. Investigators learned that Smokey's was repeatedly purchasing stolen items brought to the store by shoplifters and then reselling the items on their shelves. The complaint was originally brought to SOCITF by CVS after it was suspected that a significant amount of stolen product from their store was being resold at Smokey's. During the investigation, stolen product was routinely observed being brought to Smokey's for resale. During the search, numerous products bearing store tags from CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Stop and Shop, and other nearby retailers were identified and an estimated $3,000.00 in merchandise was recovered at the scene. The investigation and search warrant resulted in the arrest of the store’s owner, Kashif M. Khalifa (DOB: 01/07/1968) of Tolland, and employee, Homesh Pulipati (DOB: 08/13/1996) of New Haven.
Kashif M. Khalifa was charged with C.G.S. 53-142k(c) - Accessory to Organized Retail Theft. Homesh Pulipati was charged with C.G.S. 53-142k(c) - Accessory to Organized Retail Theft and C.G.S. 53a-48/53a-125b - Conspiracy to Commit Larceny 6th Degree. Both parties were transported to and processed at Troop H and later released on a $5,000.00 non-surety bond. Both Khalifa and Pulipati are scheduled for arraignment at Hartford Superior Court, on 03/22/2023.
SOCITF was assisted by the Statewide Narcotics Task Force, Hartford Police Department, Connecticut Department of Revenue, and CVS asset protection investigators.
Kashif M. Khalifa