3 accused of selling stolen cellphones, jewelry in Pine Hills
By Kate Burgess, Reporter
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Three people are in jail following a major undercover bust in Pine Hills. The men were arrested in three different stores for allegedly buying and selling stolen property including shoes, jewelry, and electronics.
For a month, Orange County sheriff's deputies have been working undercover at the J Mart Plaza, at 2620 N Hiawassee Rd. in Orlando, after receiving a tip about possible "black market" activities.
FOX 35 was there as deputies hauled the owners off to jail. Hung Tran Nguyen is one those people who is facing felony charges. For the better part of a month, undercover officers said they sold him cellphones in bulk.
"The demand was increasing from this individual wanting to buy more stolen cell phones," said Lt. Carlos Torres with the Orange County Sheriff's Office.
Demands which deputies said were excessive. Officers have investigated more than 200 cellphone robberies so far this year.
"In the last couple of months, we've seen a huge influx in the theft of cellphones, and those thefts pretty much come in a violent manner and in which the target is a cell phone, " Lt. Torres said. "The demand for that is because we have individuals, like the one we arrested today, that are buying these stolen products."
Their investigation at the electronics shop led officers to two other men who worked in other stores in the flea market.
Investigators said they hope these arrests send a message to anyone looking to buy stolen items.