Photo/Story Gallery 2008
Trooper Finds Stash of Stolen Merchandise
Trooper Tom Colalillo, Troop G (St. Augustine) went beyond the traffic stop to find several thousand dollars worth of stolen clothing when he stopped the driver of a vehicle for unlawful speed on I-95 in St. Johns County. As Trooper Colalillo walked up to the vehicle, he noticed some items in the rear cargo area covered with a sheet. The driver who produced a Puerto Rico driver license, stated that she traveled up from Orlando to go to a Best Buy store in Jacksonville. However, when Trooper Colalillo asked the passenger who stated that they had visited some friends and did not go to a Best Buy store.
Trooper Colalillo asked to search the vehicle and was granted permission. He found two plastic bags lined with paper, duct tape, and aluminum foil, one canvas bag with seven boxed Abercrombie cologne bottles, and approximately 331 items of clothing from Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, and Hollister California stores with the tags and security devices still attached. The total value of the items was nearly $10,000.
After further questioning, the driver admitted that she and the two other occupants in the vehicle had stolen the items. They were booked into the St. Johns County Jail on charges of Grand Theft Retail and Use of an Anti-shoplifting Device. After being fingerprinted, it was determined that the driver of the vehicle had given Trooper Colalillo a false name, and had a history of stealing merchandise.