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Two accused of being responsible for 'significant retail theft wave' on Treasure Coast

By Lamaur Stancil

January 7, 2011

FORT PIERCE – Two men allegedly responsible for a "significant retail theft wave" on the Treasure Coast were arrested after police say they sold nearly $25,000 in new electronics to a local pawn shop, police stated Friday.

Fort Pierce Police began investigating Roger Wesley, 28, and 48-year-old Michael Anderson after beginning a trial Wednesday with a program called LeadsOnline that tracks pawnshop activity nationwide.

During a demonstration with LeadsOnline representatives, detectives noticed Wesley, of the 600 block of Ixoria Avenue in Fort Pierce, sold 60 items to Value Pawn and Jewelry in Fort Pierce over the past two weeks. All the items appeared to be new.

Investigators went to the business in the 2500 block of South U.S. 1. Police learned Wesley and Anderson, of the 8300 block of Southeast Camellia Drive in Hobe Sound, had sold nearly $25,000 in brand-new items — such as DVD players, gaming consoles such as the Kinect, cameras and flash drives — in a 10-day period.

"This was the stuff that had been on everyone's Christmas lists," Sgt. Dennis McWilliams said. "These were mostly high-dollar items. It's unusual to see someone steal this amount of product in such a short time."

The pawn shop cooperated with investigators and released the property to police.

Police are continuing their investigation and working with other law enforcement agencies and businesses to determine where the items were taken from.

Investigators, however, have determined Wesley put five Kinects in a shopping cart at Walmart in Fort Pierce and left the store through the garden center without paying for them on Tuesday. Officers met Wesley at the pawn shop Thursday and charged him with dealing in stolen property and providing false information to a pawnbroker.

Anderson was being held in Martin County on grand theft charges filed by Stuart police.

Staff writer Will Greenlee contributed to this report.

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