Fontana police in the past week have arrested several people on suspicion of price gouging, including a man who they say boosted prices more than 300% above normal retail.
After Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency because of the coronavirus pandemic, laws preventing price gouging kicked in, making it illegal to sell an item for more than 10% over its previously listed price. Authorities are concerned that consumers will have to pay illegally inflated prices for food, water, toilet paper, sanitary wipes and other commodities.
“In an effort to protect our citizens, Fontana PD is actively monitoring different social media platforms along with local businesses to protect our citizens from any price gouging,” Officer Jennie Venzor said. Some residents have reported suspected price gouging to police, Venzor added.
On March 21, detectives arrested Jose Carreto, 51. Venzor said he had more than a 300% markup on some items that included rolls and rolls of toilet paper, disinfectant spray and sanitary wipes. He was selling them out of his vehicle, she said.
“Thank you to our wonderful citizens for the tips,” Venzor said.