Cuban Arrested in Miami for Organized Cell Phone Theft
A Cuban resident of Miami was apprehended last Sunday on suspicion of involvement in an organized operation of cell phone theft, according to a statement released by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
Accused of Serious Crimes
Orelvy Hernandez Montero, 54, is currently in custody facing charges of heist and misdemeanor theft. The investigation into his activities is ongoing.
A Determined Victim
The arrest of the Cuban suspect was made possible thanks to the determination of an Illinois woman who sought to recover her stolen iPhone. The incident took place at a restaurant on 3rd Avenue South in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.
Tracking the Stolen iPhone
The victim, a 25-year-old woman, realized her $1,200 iPhone was missing from her bag while dining at the Layer Cake restaurant on Sunday morning. She managed to track the phone’s location through her Apple Watch to a parking lot behind the establishment and sought assistance from the Entertainment District Unit of the city’s police force.
Successful Recovery Operation
Officers promptly responded to the victim’s request and located a maroon Jeep Waggoneer in the parking lot emitting signals from the stolen phone. The device was clearly visible inside the vehicle. Surveillance cameras captured footage of a man, later identified as Hernández Montero, entering and exiting the truck. When the suspect returned to the scene and noticed the police presence, he quickly fled in an Uber.
Apprehension and Key Evidence
However, law enforcement managed to intercept the suspect before he could escape. During the arrest, a key to the Jeep was found in one of Hernández Montero’s pockets. He was taken to the central police station, where he refused to answer any questions. His vehicle was impounded as part of the investigation.
Discovery of Stolen Goods
A search of the van revealed 17 mobile phones, some of which were wrapped in aluminum foil in an attempt to evade detection. Additionally, a laptop and a woman’s wallet were recovered by the police.
Connecting the Dots
One of the cell phones was identified as stolen from a man at the Kid Rock bar on Broadway the previous Saturday night. The stolen wallet belonged to a woman from Dothan, Alabama, who had been at Jason Aldean’s bar on Broadway that same night. The investigation, led by central police detective Brent Fisher, is ongoing to identify the owners of the remaining phones and the laptop found in Hernández Montero’s possession.
Past Incidents of Cell Phone Theft
Last March, another Cuban resident in Miami was arrested for stealing cell phones worth 1.2 million dollars. Eduardo Miguel Rivera Paz, a 37-year-old supervisor at the DHL facility in Miami International Airport, had replaced phones with sandbags in a shipment destined for Colombia.
In late 2020, five Hialeah residents were apprehended and accused of stealing over half a million dollars’ worth of cell phones from a warehouse in the city of Doral.
The restaurant and leaving with the stolen phone. Hernandez Montero was arrested at the scene and the stolen iPhone was successfully recovered.
Connection to Organized Theft Ring
Further investigation revealed that Hernandez Montero is believed to be part of an organized operation of cell phone theft, with connections to other individuals involved in similar crimes. The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department is working with other agencies to gather more information about the organized theft ring.
As the investigation continues, authorities are looking into possible links between Hernandez Montero and other theft incidents in the area. They are also working to determine the extent of his involvement in the organized operation. More charges may be added depending on the outcome of the ongoing investigation.
Importance of Reporting Stolen Devices
This case highlights the importance of reporting stolen devices promptly and using tracking technology to aid in their recovery. The determination of the victim in this case, along with the quick response of law enforcement, led to the successful recovery of her stolen iPhone and the arrest of a suspect involved in organized cell phone theft.
What measures can individuals take to prevent becoming a victim of an organized cell phone theft ring like the one Hernandez Montero is believed to be involved in?
There are several measures individuals can take to prevent becoming a victim of an organized cell phone theft ring:
1. Be aware of your surroundings: Stay vigilant and be aware of any suspicious behavior or individuals around you. Avoid using your phone in crowded or isolated areas where you may be an easy target for theft.
2. Keep your phone secure: Use a passcode or biometric authentication (e.g., fingerprint or facial recognition) to lock your phone. This will make it difficult for thieves to access your personal information if your phone is stolen.
3. Avoid displaying your phone: Keep your phone out of sight when not in use to avoid attracting unnecessary attention. Consider using a phone case that covers the back of your phone or a privacy screen protector to prevent others from seeing your screen.
4. Be cautious in public transportation: Pay extra attention to your surroundings when using public transportation, as thieves often target crowded buses, trains, or stations. Keep your phone securely stored in a bag or pocket rather than your hand.
5. Stay alert in crowded places: When in crowded areas such as markets, festivals, or concerts, be mindful of your belongings and keep your phone in a secure location. Beware of distractions created by potential thieves, such as bumping into you or causing a commotion.
6. Use tracking and remote wiping features: Enable tracking and remote wiping options on your phone, such as Find My iPhone (iOS) or Find My Device (Android). These features allow you to locate, lock, or erase data from your stolen phone in case of theft.
7. Be cautious of strangers: Avoid lending your phone to strangers or leaving it unattended, even for a short period. Be wary of people who approach you with requests to borrow your phone, as they may have ulterior motives.
8. Install security apps: Install reputable security apps on your phone that can help protect your device from theft attempts or assist in locating it if stolen. Look for apps that offer features like remote locking, alarm activation, or the ability to take pictures of potential thieves.
9. Keep records of your phone’s information: Take note of your phone’s serial number, IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number, and other identifying details. This information can help law enforcement track and identify your phone if stolen.
10. Insure your phone: Consider purchasing insurance or an extended warranty that covers theft, loss, or damage of your phone. This will provide financial protection and assistance in case of theft.
By following these preventive measures, individuals can reduce their chances of becoming victims of organized cell phone theft rings.