MELBOURNE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - A father and son are accused of shoplifting power tools, pawning them, and making thousands of dollars before law enforcement arrested them over the weekend.
Home Depot and Lowes were the most common stores. The Melbourne Police Department said the alleged operation has been going on for months, and it wasn’t just tools. They said it was big ticket items too, like air conditioning units; however, police said the suspects got sloppy.
“And some of the merchandise was still in the box with labels on it,” said Lt. Trevor Shaffer.
Shaffer said this case goes beyond simple shoplifting, as there also charges of racketeering.
David Staring is the father and Warren Staring is his son. Deborah Witherspoon, a friend, is also accused. Police said the three worked as a team and would sneak merchandise out of the major hardware stores all over Brevard County.
The stolen goods were then pawned, according to authorities, and some pawn shop owners tipped off police.
Officers arrested the trio at Witherspoon’s home. Police said the three suspects were using the money from this operation for drugs and their living expenses. They said there were hardware stores in Indian River County that were also hit.