ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Call it a textbook crime. Police say a man who worked for a University of Central Florida bookstore stole more than $20,000 worth of textbooks and resold them for profit to other bookstores near the Orlando campus.
Jose Roberto Alonzo, 39, faces charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property. The scheme was uncovered Feb. 2 when someone at College Book and Supply store noticed Alonzo coming in often, selling two or three copies of the same textbooks.
"A little surprised that it happened in the campus book store, just because you feel something like that, there would be a lot more oversight," said student Thomas Harbaugh. "But I guess things happen."
Officers said he swiped books, tucked them under his shirt and walked out, over and over again. Authorities say the employee sent an email to the UCF bookstore with a full list of the books Alonzo sold to them, along with surveillance footage showing him entering the store. Alonzo was pulled aside when he arrived at the store and confessed. A total of 110 text books were sold.
UCF student Gavin Lorenzo says he spends around #300 on books each semester and added, "I think it’s very wrong, the fact that he’s using the system in which he works for, taking advantage of a university an institution and using it for his own benefit."
Alonzo told police he stole the books, because he had to eat and pay rent and was in debt. Records don't show whether Alonzo has a lawyer.