WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement have finished a large-scale undercover shoplifting investigation.
On Wednesday, Sheriff Grady Judd and FDLE Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Vecchio announced the arrests of five retail theft suspects and named a sixth person accused of stealing merchandise worth more than $2 million from stores in 14 different counties.
Burlington, CVS, JC Penny, Publix, Walgreens and Winn-Dixie are among the stores affected. The suspects are accused of taking the stolen merchandise and selling it from February to May. They face several theft and racketeering charges.
On Friday, deputies arrested Santiago Martinez Jorrin, 33; Tomas Rodriguez Oliva, 47; Reynel Hernandez Perdomo, 43; Dayron Ramon Torres, 31; and Danays Acosta Benitez, 34. Deputies have a warrant for the arrest of Michael Baladron Jimenez, 32.
Investigators believe the suspects would hit as many as 10 businesses in a given day. The sheriff’s office said among the 150 reported thefts in Florida, at least 25 happened in Polk County.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office said it investigated cases of theft worth between $150,000 to $200,000 in stolen merchandise. During Wednesday's news conference, Judd and the sheriff's office displayed $125,000 worth of merchandise seized.
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