Deputies: Third arrest in Pasco school burglaries - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Deputies: Third arrest in Pasco school burglaries

Posted: Updated:
PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Eric R. Rodriguez is the third person arrested in the Pasco School Burglaries.  More details about Rodriguez's involvement in this case has yet to be released.  Please stay with WFLA.com as this investigation continues.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco says his detectives have started unraveling a major theft ring involved in stealing pricey Apple computer products from local schools.

"We've broke the case and now we need the public's assistance to go even further and make more arrests," said Sheriff Nocco.

On Monday deputies arrested Alexis Rafeal Ortiz, 19, of 7014 Ingelside Dr. As of Tuesday night, he was facing charges of burglary of an unoccupied structure or conveyance. He's in the Land O' Lakes Jail under a $30,000 bond.

According to the sheriff's office report, a deputy discovered stolen goods in Ortiz's car during a traffic stop, leading to an investigation.

One arrest was just the start. Joshua Dennis, 17, was arrested Wednesday. He faces additional charges of aggravated battery on law enforcement because he reached for the deputy's weapon when being handcuffed.

Detective Rich Stackon says there are as many as half a dozen involved in the burglary ring; maybe more.

Detectives believe the thieves are responsible for stealing equipment valued at $165,606 since October 15, 2012: $71,092 worth from Calusa Elementary; $12,241 from Chasco Elementary; $10,148 from Chasco Middle; and $70,650 from Ridgewood High School. Loses total $8,744 beyond that and an additional $3,200 in property damage.

Deputies are warning parents to be on the lookout for Apple products they didn't pay for.

"A lot of the sales happened through social media," Stackon said. "I guess these kids ... have a thousand friends on Facebook and say 'hey I've got some iPads and iPods ... Does anybody want one? A couple people chime in and that's how it spread from there."

Superintendent Kurt Browning says the ring has been able to dodge security cameras.

"We're finding is these guys are being able to figure out where security cameras are picking them up and we've actually had them travel from classroom to classroom ... through connecting doors," he said.

"What aggravates me most about this is that we have fences around our schools, we have doors locked, we have windows locked, we have security cameras, we have alarm systems ... And quite honestly I don't think we need to be securing our own equipment in our classrooms," Browning added.

He said the system is slowly getting to the point to where it can replace everything lost.

"It just disrupts the whole educational opportunity these kids have at these schools," Browning said.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:06:23 GMT
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
  • SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:50:00 GMT
    WFLA file photo.WFLA file photo.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
  • An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-07-30 15:53:07 GMT
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Bay area man headed to prison following sexual assault conviction

    Bay area man headed to prison following sexual assault conviction

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:16 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:16:02 GMT
    Hulsey, 22, was serve at least 25 years of his prison sentence. Hulsey, 22, was serve at least 25 years of his prison sentence.
    A 22-year-old Bay area man was sentenced to more than 36 years behind bars Wednesday for his role in the 2012 sexual battery of a 12-year-old girl.Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Newton handed down the sentence for Zachary Thomas Hulsey.
    A 22-year-old Bay area man was sentenced to more than 36 years behind bars Wednesday for his role in the 2012 sexual battery of a 12-year-old girl.Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Newton handed down the sentence for Zachary Thomas Hulsey.
  • Investigation underway after Haines City police office Facebook post

    Investigation underway after Haines City police office Facebook post

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:44 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:44:48 GMT
    A Haines City Police Department officer is under an internal investigation after an e-mail was sent to the department this week including screenshots from her personal Facebook page. That e-mail was also sent to 8 On Your Side by a viewer who said the content was racist and sexist.
    A Haines City Police Department officer is under an internal investigation after an e-mail was sent to the department this week including screenshots from her personal Facebook page. That e-mail was also sent to 8 On Your Side by a viewer who said the content was racist and sexist.
  • Lakeland gymnastics coach accused of sex with minor

    Lakeland gymnastics coach accused of sex with minor

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:36 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:36:57 GMT
    A man who works as a gymnastics coach in Lakeland has been accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
    A man who works as a gymnastics coach in Lakeland has been accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • 8 ways to save on groceries without coupons

    8 ways to save on groceries without coupons

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:07 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:07:49 GMT
    Wikimedia Commons photo by Eja2kWikimedia Commons photo by Eja2k
    ShopSmart magazine sent undercover shoppers through grocery store aisles and discovered plenty of ways to lower your grocery bill.
    ShopSmart magazine sent undercover shoppers through grocery store aisles and discovered plenty of ways to lower your grocery bill.
  • Couple's selfie photobombed by lightning bolt

    Couple's selfie photobombed by lightning bolt

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:56 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:56:28 GMT
    A couple vacationing in Mexico was almost hit by lightning, a few sources including Washington Post reported Tuesday.
    A couple vacationing in Mexico was almost hit by lightning, a few sources including Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.