Detectives seek victims who bought stolen devices

By News4Jax.com Staff, webteam@wjxt.com
Published On: Jan 31 2014 01:34:10 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 31 2014 01:35:11 PM EST
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. -

Detectives in Columbia County are seeking to identify victims of an investigation focused on an employee who was suspected of ordering items on corporate accounts and then selling them for personal gain.

The stolen property from Anderson Columbia Co. Inc. consisted of new and used laptops, computers, monitors, iPads and iPods. Some of the items have been sold by an accomplice both in the immediate area and internationally via the Internet on eBay.com, deputies said. Consequently, some of the stolen items purchased on eBay were resold on Amazon.com by a third party order filler, deputies said.

The Sheriff's Office said it recovered a number of items and identified victims by doing an open source search of eBay and Amazon. One result of a search is a screen shot pictured above showing a verified stolen iPad being sold on eBay by one of the thieves.

Amazon and Amazon's third party order filler are being cooperative in the investigation and have continually advocated for their customers affected by this fraud, deputies said. They said representatives have stated that the third party filler for Amazon will monetarily reimburse the victims who purchased one of these stolen iPads through Amazon.com.

Detectives are seeking the public's help in identifying additional victims of this scheme and aiding in locating the items sold locally or via the Internet. The investigation has confirmed that more than 300 iPads and an undetermined number of new and used computers were sold from January 2008 to September 2013.

As of that date, about 85 victims have been identified and confirmed that they purchased an iPad from one of the thieves over the Internet, deputies said. About a dozen computers have been identified and recovered locally from victims, however, there are believed to be additional victims, deputies said.

This is an ongoing investigation and arrests are forthcoming, deputies said. If you believe you are a victim, or have any information regarding this case, call Detective Caleb Douglas of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at 386-758-1375 or Crime Stoppers of Columbia County at 386-754-7099.

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