Four people have been arrested in connection to an alleged retail crime ring that operated in six Florida counties, say Polk County detectives.

  • Four in alleged retail crime group arrested
  • Group stole merchandise from Home Depot
  • Targeted 6 counties over 11 months

Alberto Vera-Caraballo, 48; Victor Diaz-Martinez, 50; Alexander Febles-Mirelis, 36; and Giselle Sanchez Juala, 41, have been charged with 26 felonies.

The group is accused of working together to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise from Home Depot. Vera-Caraballo was the alleged ring leader, police say.

The suspects stole from Home Depot stores in Polk, Hillsborough, Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties from July 2016 to June 2017.

They committed 275 confirmed thefts, depriving Home Depot of over $222,000, say authorities.

The suspects would reportedly take merchandise to the self-checkout lanes while another distracted a store clerk, allowing them to carry items out of the store unnoticed.

They would then return the stolen merchandise in exchange for a Home Depot gift card, which they sold at a jewelry store in Altamonte Springs, according to a news release.

Another suspect, Michdalie Palerm-Martinez, 40, died on Nov. 7, 2017.

The group’s combined criminal histories total 27 prior felonies and 26 prior misdemeanors.