HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A two month-investigation involving the sale of stolen goods ended with the arrest 34 people and the recovery of more than $90,000 in new items, still in their boxes, along with five pounds of marijuana and other stolen goods.
Detectives worked in conjunction with Home Depot corporate security to target thieves who were stealing from their store and other retailers, then re-selling them to intermediaries for almost 80% off retail.
Those people would then sell them to the public at about 30% off retail price, claiming they were authorized dealers, bought in bulk or were selling a gift they received.
These sellers (a.k.a. fences) would use OfferUp, Let-Go and Facebook Marketplace to advertise their stolen goods.
Home Depot Corporation revealed a total loss of $2.4 million in power tools over 12 months from four stores in eastern Hillsborough County (Brandon, Riverview, Valrico and Sun City Center).
On April 19, detectives conducted a two-day sting and arrested 21 people.
On April 24, HCSO executed simultaneous search warrants at the homes of the four main fences. Joshua Burr, Kyle Walters, Duane Gutherie and Aaron Orr were arrested.
They collectively were charged with eight 1st Degree Felonies and nine 2nd Degree Felonies.
The following was seized during their arrests:
- Over $90,000.00 of New In Box merchandise
- $30,000.00 in U.S. currency
- 5.2 Pounds of Marijuana
- A stolen, 2008 boat
- A stolen, 2015 boat trailer
- A 2005 Dixie Chopper lawn mower
- A 2013 Dodge Challenger
- A 2010 Honda Accord