Three arrested in Melbourne organized retail theft, fraud investigation
Police say suspects pawned stolen merchandise
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Three organized retail theft suspects were working as a team to steal high-priced items from hardware stores to later pawn the stolen items, according to Melbourne Police Department.
News 6 partner Florida Today reported the crew would work as a team to steal mostly air conditioners, welding packs and other tools from Home Depot locations in Brevard and Indian River counties, police said.
Police were notified by Home Depot and found the three selling the brand new hardware to local pawn shops still in the packaging, according to arrest reports.
David Staring, 56, Warren Staring, 29, and Debra Witherspoon, 61, were all arrested Friday and charged with multiple counts of grand theft, dealing in stolen property and organized fraud.
Police said the three would use the money from the pawned tools on drugs and living expenses. Investigators did not release the exact amount stolen but said it was in the many thousands of dollars.
The arrests came as a result of an investigation by both Melbourne and West Melbourne detectives with assistance from the Indian River County Sheriff's Office.
All three are being held at the Brevard County Jail Complex. David Staring is being held on $760,000 bail; Warren Staring, $784,000 bail; and Debra, $780,000 bail.
Police are continuing their investigation and anyone with information is asked to call Detective Mark Jennewein at 321-608-6481.
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