Eight busted for 61 cell phone store break-ins

Rain through early Thursday Morning

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WANE)  Six adults and two juveniles are have been arrested for a series of break-ins at cell phone stores in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.  One of the stores is located in Van Wert, Ohio.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced details of the case on Monday.

Investigators believe at least 61 cellphone store break-ins were committed.

According to prosecutors with Attorney General DeWine’s Economic Crimes Unit and Special Prosecutions Section, the suspects, who are all from the Dayton area, operated in two separate, but related, groups. They’re accused of committing the “smash and grab” crimes between April 2012 and January 2014.

“These individuals are all from the Dayton area, but they committed crimes all over Ohio, as well as across state lines,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Those with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus Police Department, and Dayton Police Department worked to connect the dots that tied these crimes together, and we are very grateful for their hard work, as well as the work of all of the other local jurisdictions involved.”

The individuals typically targeted Verizon Wireless businesses and are believed to have stolen more than $300,000 in electronics such as Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices. The suspects then allegedly sold the devices and spent the money on items such as designer clothing and hotel rooms.

Although the two groups are charged as separate criminal organizations, investigators found that both groups used an identical method of operation, and some suspects are believed to have committed crimes with both sets of individuals.

For a list of the stores involved in the investigation, click here.


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