ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Orlando Police say three men have been arrested for stealing cell phones from people at bars and clubs in downtown Orlando.
The suspects have been identified as 43-year-old Lucio Alain Rodriguez, 28-year-old Josue Acosta and 27-year-old Adrian Gutierrez.
Investigators say the trio traveled from South Florida to commit the crimes.
“We believe this group that we made arrest on is responsible for a very organized pick pocketing group. They’re very sophisticated,” said OPD Det. Nick Collins.
Orlando Police say detectives have been looking into the suspects for months and they were doing some surveillance Saturday night downtown when around 20 cell phones were reported stolen from a club called the Attic.
“They [the suspects] eventually went to a car, they obviously had phones in their pockets, tight jeans on and you put four phones in your pocket, it’s going to be obvious,” Collins explained.
He says they found 17 cell phones on the suspects. Officers say the men went after newer model phones, swiping them in seconds, before passing them off to another person in the group. The target is potentially worth hundreds of dollars and almost everybody carries one all the time.
“A lot of people keep their phones in your back pocket. And I like to tell people, the new phones, that’s like sticking a thousand dollars in your back pocket,” Collins said.
Brandon Geers, managing partner of the Attic, says his employees have been warning customers not to let their guard down.
“They target girls with purses. Just be aware, have your purse in front of you when you’re walking in a crowd,” Geers said.
Police say the three suspects were initially arrested Sunday. They say additional charges were added Monday after more people came forward to claim a stolen phone.