Police Bust Million Dollar Theft Ring
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say they've cracked a $1 million theft ring that involved storing the items at a large warehouse in Kannapolis and selling them on eBay and Craigslist.
The first thing police saw when they entered the warehouse was a six foot tall stuffed bear. It was shrink wrapped and ready to be shipped. There were also instruments signed by musicians, electronics, clothes, hunting equipment and even a ballistic vest.
Captain Allan Rutledge says it's been a chore to go through everything. "We're talking about nine people that it has taken a week to inventory each piece of property and we're not quite done yet."
Rutledge says police found about $1 million worth of stolen items. He says many of the goods came from Charlotte, but some were from other states. They also found several marijuana plants.
Starting back in December, detectives began noticing a pattern with several store break-ins. Barefoot Archery, American Army Surplus and Diver's Supply all had a whole lot of merchandise stolen at one time and the burglars seemed to really know what they were doing.
"This was by far a very professional group to know how to disable alarm systems, to remove lock mechanisms without drawing attention to themselves," says Rutledge.
Rutledge says the burglars transported the items to the warehouse in Kannapolis, then packaged and shipped them from there. He says it's the biggest burglary operation he's seen during his twenty years with the department. Police have arrested Daniel Reyes of Charlotte in connection with the operation and are searching for two more men.