Florida Man Calendar – August 13

August 13 – Florida Man Recruits Members of Drug Rehab to Create eBay Empire

It’s not uncommon to enter a retail establishment and find costly or small items under lock and key. A Florida pastor has been arrested and charged with scamming Home Depot stores across out of millions of dollars since 2016.

Results from a 7 month sting operation indicate that Robert Dell, a pastor who ran a drug treatment program in Tampa Bay, FL, encouraged members of the program to steal tools that could quickly be sold on eBay. Dell would pay the thieves a portion of the value of the product, market the stolen products and pocket the cash. He acted as the middle man or fence to move the products along.

Of course, the addition of glassed in security partitions has greatly increased the cost of inventory and shelf storage over time. The loss of inventory and potential sales is obvious. In addition to the loss of potential sales, Home Depot leadership is concerned about the risk to employees. These thieves are causing extreme risk to employees. The act of a smash and grab thief can quickly lead to direct contact with a dangerous and desperate thief.

Because Dell was working with folks who were trying to get away from lives of addiction, want and altered choices, the threat he created both for addicts in his program and employees at Home Depot stores around the state of Florida is quite concerning.

Dell has pled not guilty to the charges of fencing the stolen tools from Home Depot on eBay. Former associates of his who were directly involved in the theft process report that he used to pay them up to $10,000 per day for their activities, but those payouts have dwindled to as low as $2,000 per day. Dell’s ready supply of thieves and their disappointment in lower payouts may well have made the sting operation easier to manage.

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August 13 – Florida Man Applies for Job, Steals Car, and Survives Accident

A traveler stopped at a convenience store to load up on snacks and check his lottery tickets.

Lesson number one: Never leave your car running in Florida. Just let the chocolate melt. This was the lesson that the owner of a Cadillac SUV that was stolen from a Pilot in Lake Wales, Florida.

A young man went to the same convenience store to apply for a job, but couldn’t meet with an interviewer that day.

Lesson number two: If you arrive for a job interview and are told to come back later, just book a new time and come back later. Don’t steal the SUV noted above. It won’t help you in your job search.

Things went from bad to worse for both parties noted above. The owner of the SUV was nearly run over by the thief. The thief fled from police and was eventually apprehended when the SUV was demolished.

OnStar, the security and navigating tool included in many high end vehicles, offers another unique feature. A stolen vehicle can be turned off. Once it’s turned off, the driver has no control.

The former applicant turned thief chose to take the Florida vehicle on a high speed joy ride, breaking the 100 mile per hour mark repeatedly. Finally, authorities chose to turn the car off.

Once the Cadillac was turned off, it crashed and flipped repeatedly. The thief got out of the car and attempted to run away, but was caught. The owner of the SUV was not able to enjoy his weekend getaway or his chocolate. The unfortunate young thief was charged with grand theft auto, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as he also had a handgun in the car.