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Rex Chapman's Sale of New, Stolen Apple Items Didn't Raise Suspicions at Pawn Store

By Ray Stern

September 22, 2014

Details released in the Rex Chapman shoplifting case show that North Scottsdale Loan and Gold paid the ex-NBA star thousands for the brand-new goods he brought in.

Alfonso Larriva, owner of the Scottsdale store as well as other Valley pawn shops, tells New Times that the store's employees didn't find the transactions suspicious.

Chapman was arrested by Scottsdale police on Friday and accused of stealing about $14,000 of items from the Apple Store at 15169 North Scottsdale Road over a period of several weeks. He was released from jail on Saturday afternoon after posting a $14,000 bond. Cops are seeking 14 felony counts related to organized retail theft and trafficking in stolen property.

A booking sheet released today provides further information about the alleged thefts. According to Scottsdale police:

* May 24: Chapman enters the store for a Genius Bar appointment. When the appointment's finished, he takes three sets of headphones off a shelf, puts them in his backpack and leaves the store without paying for them. Total value: $489.85.

* June 13: Chapman enters the store at about 7 p.m. carrying an Apple bag. He puts a pair of headphones valued at $379.95 in the bag and walks out.

* June 13: Chapman goes back in the store an hour later, again carrying a white Apple bag. He puts three sets of headphones in the bag and leaves. Value: $1,029.85.

* June 14: Chapman sells the $1,400 worth of equipment to North Scottsdale Loan and Gold, 7126 East Shea Boulevard, for $625.

* July 14: Chapman enters the store, places five items worth a total of $2,579.75 in Apple bags.

* July 16: Chapman sells the same five items to the pawn shop for $1,085.

* July 19: Chapman steals five items worth $2,359.75.

* July 20: Chapman sells the five items to the pawn shop for $1,050. (The report contradicts itself here and states that one of the items did not match the five items he allegedly stole on July 19.)

* July 23: Chapman swipes seven items valued at $3,139.65, again putting them in bags.

* July 24: Chapman sells the exact same seven items to the pawn shop for $1,150.

* July 25: Chapman takes seven items valued at $3,919.65. He returns to the shop a short time later and swipes a $600 Monster hard drive.

* July 26: Chapman sells those eight items to the pawn shop for $1,550.

* August 6: Chapman enters the Apple Store just before 3 p.m. and steals two sets of headphones valued at $779.90. Store business manager Mike Dudley sees Chapman take the items and follows him to the parking lot, having recognized the suspect as a former NBA player.

Police said previously that Chapman pretended to purchase many of the items using the Apple Store's self-checkout method.

At least two employees at the pawn shop worked with Chapman on different occasions when he brought in the brand-new items to sell, Larriva says.

The pawn-shop owner says it's not uncommon for people to sell brand-new items, still in their packaging, to the store. During one of the transactions, an employee asked Chapman where the items came from.

"Rex said they were a gift -- that they had some extras," Larriva says. "It didn't seem crazy."

Employees would have showed more concern if not for the fact that Chapman was known to be a former NBA player.

"You're happy to see the guy (as a customer), and you know he's got money," Larriva says. "I don't think there's anything here to make me think we did anything wrong."

Some of the items purchased from Chapman were sold on eBay, Larriva says. The shop had roughly 20 percent of the items still in its possession; those were given to the police, he says. (Larriva gave us that info a few minutes after the original post was published, in case you noticed the change.)

While the pawn shop logs items it buys on, which matches stolen goods to things brought in to second-hand stores, Larriva notes that the Apple Store seems to have delayed reporting the thefts.

If the theft investigation includes any potential problems with the pawn-shop transactions, police aren't saying.

The case is centered on Chapman, whose motives for the alleged thefts are still unknown. Although he was able to post bond, the booking sheet shows that police were worried he'd flee the state because of his travel-heavy broadcasting job.

"Defendant works as a basketball broadcaster and travels all over the country for his job," police say in the court paperwork, listing his employer as Turner Sports. "If released he may not return."

New Times contacted Turner Sports this morning to inquire about Chapman's employment situation. We'll let you know if we hear anything.


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