|June 15, 2011
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Jacksonville Regional Operations Center and Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution announce the arrest of eight individuals involved in a high-end burglary ring that targeted jewelry stores and pawn shops in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Connecticut.
The arrests mark the culmination of a nearly two-year multi-agency investigation into an organized burglary ring based out of Miami-Dade County, Fla. The ring operated with multiple crews of burglars who would burglarize jewelry stores and pawn shops by cutting holes in the roof, disabling alarms and surveillance systems and using torches to access safes. Authorities estimate the value of the jewelry stolen at more than $6 million.
“The Office of Statewide Prosecution and FDLE worked on this investigation with law enforcement throughout the Eastern United States,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “The large-scale cooperation among the various law enforcement agencies was a vast undertaking that will result in justice for the victims of these burglaries.”
“This group moved fast and hit targets in multiple jurisdictions but they underestimated the level of sophistication and collaboration among our law enforcement agencies,” said Commissioner Gerald Bailey.
The following individuals were arrested between May 19 and May 24 and charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering:
Authorities have active warrants for Osvaldo Cruz, 40, of Hialeah Gardens, Fla., for racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. Individuals with information about his location should contact their local authorities.
The following agencies participated in this investigation: Alachua Police Department, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Davie Police Department, Fairfax County (VA) Police Department, FBI Miami South American Theft Group Task Force, Fredericksburg (VA) Police Department, Greensboro (NC) Police Department, Knox County (TN) Sheriff’s Office, Lake Placid Police Department, Metropolitan Nashville (TN) Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Orange Park Police Department, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Princeton (WV) Police Department, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, and West Haven (CT) Police Department.
The case remains active and ongoing. The case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.