Detectives have recovered laptop computers stolen from a South Valley School after they found they were being re-sold online.
Detectives set up a sting operation after finding the Chromebooks being sold online. They were even able to negotiated a better deal. But there are still more of the laptops out there — so they want people to look out when shopping online.
Seven Chromebooks are heading back to Island Union Elementary School. Last month the school had more than 50 stolen over a weekend. Surveillance video captured a thief in the act — disappearing with the laptops in just a few moments.
“This stuff just moves like money – just changes hands quickly,” said Sgt. Charles Buhl.
Buhl says the Chromebooks have changed hands at least three times before he tracked them down. The suspect in this case, Ricardo Garcia, sold them at least once before they were given to a woman that Kings County detectives met. The woman says she bought the $250-dollar Chromebooks for $20 and was offering one to Detective Sgt Buhl for $50.
She cooperated and detectives were able to recover 7 Chromebooks. But Buhl knows there are at least 40 more out there. “You just got to be real diligent about what you’re purchasing.”
He adds it’s not just this crime, but an increase in property crime that should keep you wary when shopping online.
“You look at Craigslist. You look at how many of these things are out there. Chances are a majority of them are probably stolen,” said Buhl.
He suggests meeting in public and make sure the price makes sense. He also says to make sure any electronic being sold comes with a charger.
These Chromebooks will head back to the classroom soon, but there’s plenty more still out there waiting for an unsuspecting buyer.
If it’s too good of a deal, it’s probably too good to be true. If you believe you have brought stolen property contact your locally law enforcement agency.