Since September 2014, police in the Orlando area have been facing a string
of cellphone thefts at retail stores with more than 9 reported cases and
20 additional cases. It was reported that there was more than $150,000
in losses and damages accrued throughout the string of
In January, one man was apprehended who has since confessed to multiple
cases of theft in different counties. There, however, were still questions
regarding where the stolen phones had gone. To further look into the issue,
local law enforcement launched an undercover investigation with the help
of the Seminole County Sheriff’s department to look into the owner
of an Orlando cellphone repair store who the defendant claimed bought
the stolen phones.
Over a six week period, the undercover officers successfully sold cellphones
to the alleged criminal on seven different occasions; these occurred both
at the defendant’s store, as well as in back alleys and parking
lots. After the six weeks, there was enough evidence to make the arrest
on seven felony warrants. The repair store owner is now facing charges
of dealing in stolen property, as well as violation of secondhand dealer statute.
Understanding the Charges
Dealing in stolen property is defined under § 812.019 of the 2014 Florida Statutes. This is
a second degree felony when an individual traffics in, or endeavors to
traffic in, property that they know was stolen; this includes when they
should have known. This can also be a first degree felony if the individual either
initiated, organized, planned, financed, directed, managed, or supervised
the theft of property and trafficked the stolen property.
Punishments for the crime include, but are not limited to, the following:
First Degree Felony: Imprisonment up to 30 year and fine up to $10,000
Second Degree Felony: Imprisonment up to 15 years and fine up to $10,000
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