Raleigh police bust major theft ring
Posted May 6, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Investigators believe they have stopped a major theft ring involving nearly 2,000 items stolen from a Raleigh Sam’s Club to be sold at a local flea market.
Edgar Armando Alvarez, 38, is accused of leading the organized retail theft ring where thieves took merchandise from area stores, sold them to Alvarez for cash, who then sells them at Watson’s Flea Market on Rock Quarry Road.
Authorities were tipped about the ring after Travis Ashley Seamster, 30, and Dana Brooke Whitley, 33, were arrested on April 18 on shoplifting and armed robbery charges. A security guard at the Sam's Club on South Saunders Street confronted a man and a woman about shoplifting and the man pulled a knife before the pair dropped the merchandise and ran, police said.
Seamster told investigators he sold stolen merchandise to Alvarez for cash multiple times within the past year, and did so under the watch of Raleigh detectives in April, according to a search warrant.
“The cooperating defendant delivered numerous new hammers, tape measures and gloves for $160,” the warrant said.
Alvarez, who was arrested after the transaction, is charged with organized retail theft, possession of stolen goods/property and receiving stolen goods/property.
Police seized over 1,900 items from Alvarez’ home, 3609 Cove Drive, on April 19. All the items were taken from the Sam’s Club on South Saunders Street, according to the warrant, including:
- Tools, including hammers, saw blades, tool sets, tape measure, spray guns, extension cords and utility knives
- Electronic items, including headsets, phone chargers, video game controllers, external hard drives, memory cards, batteries, cell phones, GPS devices, laptops and cameras
- Hygiene products, including shampoo, razors and deodorant sticks
- Vehicle items, including headlight bulbs and fuel injector cleaner
- Clothes, including pants, shirts, dresses and flip flops
- Other items, including cell phone cases, gum, bottles of over the counter medicine and watches
Police believe Alvarez stored the stolen goods in his home before selling them at the flea market.
Alvarez, Seamster and Whitley are scheduled to be in court May 12. More arrests are likely, investigators said.