Three New York City men arrested at the Beaver Creek Crossing shopping center this week with what Apex police say were 14 i-Phones stolen from AT&T may be part of an East Coast theft ring, detectives say.
Brian Rafael Frias, 26; Arturo Ceasar Diaz Jr., 26, and Jonathan Noel Rivera, 29, were arrested after an officer answered a call about three men looking into cars in the parking lot late Tuesday afternoon, Capt. Christopher Myhand said Friday
When the officer was questioning the men, who all have addresses in upper Manhattan in New York City, Rivera had a small amount of marijuana in his pocket, Myhand said.
The drug raised suspicions that eventually led to a search of the men’s car, and police found the 14 phones in their original packaging, Myhand said. Police said they believe the phones likely had been purchased with fraudulent credit cards, which would make them stolen property.
Each of the three was charged with possession of stolen property, and Rivera was charged with misdemeanor drug possession.
“Additional investigation led officers to believe that the three are part of a group buying i-Phones with fraudulent credit cards up and down the East Coast,” Myhand said.
Apex detectives are working to find out where the phones were bought, then will contact police in those places to find out if they have related cases.
There is an AT&T store in the shopping center where the men were, but Myhand said detectives do not know if the three had any plans to go in there.
Frias and Diaz were being held in lieu of $15,000 bail apiece. Rivera’s bail was $15,500.