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2 arrested, 2 wanted in $222,000 Home Depot theft ring, deputies say

6-county theft ring spanned over 11 months​

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – The Polk County Sheriff's Office has arrested two people and is searching for two others in connection with a six-county retail theft ring, Sheriff's Office officials announced on Thursday.

Deputies said the ring stole hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise from Home Depot stores in Polk, Hillsborough, Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties over an 11-month period.

According to deputies, the stolen property was returned back to the store in exchange for gift cards, and deputies said the accused ringleader,  Alberto Vera-Caraballo, sold the gift cards to an Altamonte Springs jewelry store for $149,000, or $71,000 less than the actual value. Officials said the company has since changed their return policy by no longer allowing the private sale of their gift cards.

Each suspected member of the theft ring was charged with various felonies in connection with the 275 thefts from July 2016 to June 2017, deputies said.

Vera-Caraballo,  and Victor Diaz-Martinez have been arrested, however, deputies are issued warrnts for both Alexander Febles-Mirelis and Giselle Sanchez Juala face several charges, including organized scheme to defraud, conspiracy to commit fraud over $50,000, grand theft over $100,000, and dealing in stolen property.

The group was estimated to have stolen $222,000, deputies said.