Five Arrested in $1M+ Florida Cargo Theft Ring|
Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced the arrests of five Miami-Dade County
residents in connection to an organized cargo theft ring. The arrests are the
result of an investigation by Attorney General Bondi's Office of Statewide
Prosecution, with the assistance of the Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami
Metropolitan Major Theft Task Force and the Florida Highway Patrol Commercial
Vehicle and Cargo Theft Task Force.
According to the investigation, the defendants typically traveled from
Miami-Dade County in a rental vehicle to search for tractor trailers they could
easily steal. Once the defendants stole both the cargo and trailers, they
returned to Miami to sell the stolen property on the black market.
The five members of this theft ring face charges related to seven different
cargo theft incidents in Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, Palm Beach and
Polk Counties. The estimated loss of stolen property amounts to more than a
● Juan Carlos Almaguer, 42;
● Alcide Frahuela Casanova, 56;
● Cecilio Guillen, 45;
● Yanier Torres, 30; and
● Julio Vega, 53.
Each defendant faces charges including, but not limited to, conspiracy to commit
racketeering and multiple counts of grand theft cargo $50,000 or more, both
first-degree felonies. If convicted, the defendants each face up to 30 years in
prison per count of conspiracy to commit racketeering and grand theft cargo
$50,000 or more. Attorney General Bondi's Office of Statewide Prosecution will
prosecute the defendants.
face Bergen County charges in ID theft ring
Five residents of the Bronx, N.Y., have been charged in connection with
allegations that they are part of a ring that stole identities of people to
purchase thousands of dollars of iPhones in Bergen County and other locations,
authorities said in a news release Monday. Three of the accused were arrested
and charged on Friday following an investigation that began in November with an
arrest in Closter, and two others remain at large, Bergen Co. Pros. Grewal said.
Aimee Gonzalez had been arrested in Closter last year after she attempted to
purchase iPhones at a Verizon Wireless store, Grewal said. He said that
authorities had determined she was a member of "an organized identity theft
ring" that used "numerous stolen identities" to purchase tens of thousands of
dollars worth of iPhones in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
KY couple sold $100,000 of stolen gift cards
Police say a husband and wife sold more than $100,000 in stolen gift cards to
three pawn shops. LMPD officials tell us there's a ring of people linked to the
scheme that involved stealing merchandise from local retailers. Derek and
Esperanza Sines were arraigned Monday morning on charges of theft and engaging
in organized crime. From November of 2013 up until last month, police say the
pair stole merchandise from local businesses like Walmart, Target, and Meijer,
then returned the merchandise for gift cards. They then sold those gift cards to
pawn shops for less than their face value in exchange for cash. The stolen gift
cards were sold at two Easy Cash stores and J&M Pawn. Police say the Sines sold
more than 660 gift cards. Police say the pair didn't act alone. They believe at
least seven other people are in on the scheme.
Council Bluffs, IA: One of two women accused of stealing thousands from Walmart
On Monday afternoon, Keisha Kephart, 24, pleaded guilty to felony theft and
received two years of formal probation, but, as part of her plea agreement, she
has to help the State of Iowa convict her alleged co-conspirator. Kephart was
arrested on Dec. 7 at Walmart after stealing between $2,000 and $4,000 in
merchandise while working as a cashier at the store. On Jan. 19, Jeri Atilano,
30, of Council Bluffs, was arrested and charged with second-degree felony theft,
conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony, as well as ongoing criminal conduct.
Lake City, FL: Suspect in multi-county Walmart thefts arrested in Lake City
Lake City police said they arrested a man suspected of stealing merchandise from
Walmarts in two counties. Kenneth Platt, 50, was arrested at a Starbucks off
U.S. 90 over the weekend. Walmart associates said last November, they discovered
several laptops missing from the display area. After reviewing surveillance
video, they saw a man tampering with security devices on the laptops. Walmart
employees told LCPD this occurred four different times. The stolen merchandise
was valued at $1,746. Platt had three active warrants for thefts in Columbia,
Baker and Suwannee Counties.
Epping, NH: Police say Legos are a target for thieves
Epping Police Capt. Jason Newman said, "Lego thefts are on the rise due to their
popularity, cost and pawn value." Epping Police recently charged a Manchester
man after he allegedly tried to steal $890 worth of Legos from the Epping
Wal-Mart last month. Justin Laforge, 29, is charged with attempt to commit theft
and driving after revocation. New Hampshire is the latest state to see thieves
targeting the toy loot.
ON, CN: Four suspects hit Shoppers Drug Mart targeting Baby Formula
Local police are wondering if they're battling a black market for baby formula
after a four-woman shoplifting team made off with $1,000 worth of the product
from a LaSalle drug store Saturday. LaSalle police Monday released surveillance
camera images of four women who made two trips each into the Shoppers Drug Mart
between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Each of the women carried a reusable cloth shopping
bag into the store and filled it with large cans of powdered formula. The women
left the store without paying, then returned to shoplift more of the same item.
The store's manager reported more than 20 cans missing.