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Pawn shop owner arrested in organized retail theft ring, deputies say

Investigation began after drills went missing from Home Depot

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SOUTH DAYTONA, Fla. – Volusia County deputies removed hundreds of drills from Richard Hill's Music and Pawn Shop Thursday morning.

"This is a million dollars in stolen property coming into a little pawn shop in the front door and going out the back door through the internet," Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.

The shop's owner, 51-year-old Richard Hill, allegedly hired two groups of people, including a father and son duo, to steal specific drills from Home Depot stores throughout Volusia County.

"They go right in, grab as many of these drills as they can and they would come right back, where I'm sure he'd give them pennies on the dollar and then he went and sold everything online," Chitwood said.

The investigation started in 2017, when a loss prevention officer at a Home Depot tipped deputies off after noticing an overwhelming amount of drills were missing. Investigators then made sales to Hill, telling him the items were stolen but said he still bought the merchandise. 

"To be a corrupt pawn shop owner is there. Just like the potential to be a corrupt anything is there," Chitwood said.

Deputies arrested Hill and the other seven people involved in the retail theft ring. Chitwood said they've only scratched the surface of the shop and will seize other items once they obtain a warrant.

"The bottom line is, I think they're maybe a few pawn shop owners who may be sleeping a little rough tonight wondering if the Volusia County Sheriff's Office will be showing up at their door tomorrow morning," Chitwood said.

Hill faces charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering.


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