Graphing calculator theft ring: 2 Texas men face charges in Washington County

Two men from Texas are facing felony charges after allegedly stealing nearly $20,000 worth of graphing calculators from stores in the Twin Cities. 

According to court records, 23-year-old Zachary Fininen and 30-year-old Antonio Griffin Jr. are accused of being part of a multi-state graphing calculator theft ring responsible for over $250,000 worth of stolen merchandise. 

Authorities say the enterprise is based out of Texas, and while the men were in Minnesota, they allegedly stole nearly $20,000 worth of calculators. Law enforcement did not say how many people may be involved in the ring. 

According to court records, the two men were arrested in Woodbury on Feb. 23 after allegedly stealing over $5,500 worth of calculators from a store. An employee reported the men placed the calculators in an empty cooler and left the building without paying. 

When authorities arrived at the scene, they located the men pushing a shopping cart with the cooler. They ran from the area, but authorities said they were arrested shortly after, charges allege.

During the investigation, law enforcement learned earlier the same day the men had allegedly stolen nearly $13,000 worth of graphing calculators from at least seven Target stores around the metro. Charging documents did not say how many calculators were stolen or if they were recovered.

Washington County prosecutors charged Griffin and Fininen with one count of organized retail theft for allegedly being employed or associated with a retail theft enterprise. They made their first court appearance Friday morning.