Lubbock Police bust crime ring, seeking suspects - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/27/09

Lubbock Police bust crime ring, seeking suspects

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By Ben Lawson  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Your recently purchased iPod or Mac Book might be stolen, and here's why. Wednesday, investigators say they busted a large organized crime ring.

Half-a-dozen suspects were behind bars Wednesday night, with more arrests expected. "It's been a collaborative effort, and it's brought down a sizeable organized crime ring into the tens of thousands of dollars worth of stolen merchandise," Lubbock Police Captain Greg Stevens said. 

According to court papers, police were contacted by a local, UPS security guard in January. Shipments of Apple iPods and laptop computers, meant for local retailers, had been stolen from there warehouse on East 44th street.

Investigators determined Robert Ramos, 26, who worked for UPS at the time, stole the merchandise and then distributed it to other people to sell at a discount. "The one unique characteristic of this one they've been able to determine definitely that a lot of the communication in this crime ring was done through texting," Stevens said. 

Police arrested Ramos and five others on Wednesday. Each is charged with organized crime. They've also charged six others in connection to the 155 stolen iPods and 10 stolen computers. "The theft warrants have been issued for people who've received the devices knowing that they were stolen property.  There's a possibility of other types of merchandise that has been stolen and has been distributed through this organized crime ring, and detectives are looking into that," Stevens said. He says there could also be more arrests.

In the meantime, police urge anyone who's recently purchased an Apple iPod or Mac Book from a source other than an authorized retailer, to call them so investigators can determine if it's stolen. "I will say the vast majority of people who received them perhaps didn't realize they were stolen," Stevens said. 

Folks can call the Lubbock Police Department at (806) 775-2431 to find out if their device is stolen. Just provide them the serial number, and they'll let you know.

Police have recovered 49 iPods and two computers, but again they've only charged five people with theft. So, they say folks shouldn't be afraid to call and check if their device is stolen.

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