On Thursday, October 24, 2013, Polk County Sheriff’s Organized Retail Crime detectives, working with detectives from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, arrested 62-year-old Richard Green of 4941 Foster Lane in Zephyrhills
, for Dealing in Stolen Property after they discovered he had stolen approximately $20,000 worth of merchandise from area stores, and was conducting ongoing sales of the stolen merchandise at the Silver Moon Flea Market in Lakeland.
According to the affidavit, the investigation began when HCSO contacted PCSO with a tip that Green was possibly selling stolen merchandise at the aforementioned flea market. On Thursday, October 24, 2013, detectives from both agencies conducted undercover surveillance on Green and observed him shoplifting items from the Harbor Freight Tools store and the Tractor Supply store in north Lakeland. He was taken into custody without incident.
During a post-Miranda interview, Green showed the detectives several plastic totes in his pickup truck, filled with stolen goods. He told detectives that the stolen merchandise came from Tractor Supply, Harbor Freight Tools, Big Lots, and several other stores in Pasco, Hillsborough, and Polk counties. He said he planned on selling the stolen items at the Silver Moon Flea Market on Sunday, October 27th. Among the approximately 25 totes in his truck, detectives located approximately $10,000 worth of stolen goods. Green told detectives he has been involved in stealing and selling stolen goods for the past 3.5 years.
Detectives also located a warehouse belonging to Green in Hillsborough County, filled with another approximately $10,000 worth of stolen merchandise. Many of the items still had store markings on them, and detectives will be returning the goods back to the stores from which they were stolen.
Green was booked into the Polk County Jail, where he is being held on $5,000 bond.
“This is a great example of how we work hand-in-hand with other law enforcement agencies, as well as loss prevention investigators at retail stores, to crack down on criminals. Theft is not a victimless crime. When retail stores suffer losses through theft, it impacts everyone by driving up costs. When we all work together, we can make a positive difference.” – Sheriff Grady Judd