By Caleb Wethington
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — A Florida man was arrested after an Illinois woman led police to her stolen iPhone that was inside the man’s Jeep along with nearly 20 other stolen phones wrapped in aluminum foil, according to Metro Nashville Police.
An Illinois woman’s determination to get her stolen iPhone back that was taken from a 3rd Avenue South restaurant eventually led to the arrest of Orelcy Hernandez Montero, 54, of Miami. MNPD says Montero is suspected of being part of an organized cell phone theft operation.
He’s jailed on two counts of felony theft and one count of misdemeanor theft; he remains under investigation, according to MNPD.
On Sunday morning, the 25-year-old victim was inside Layer Cake restaurant when she discovered her $1,200 iPhone was missing from her purse. The victim was able to track the phone via her Apple Watch to a parking lot behind the restaurant.
She asked officers for help and shortly after, they went to the parking lot and found a maroon Jeep Waggoneer from which the victim’s phone was pinging, police said. Officers were able to clearly see the phone inside the vehicle.
Surveillance cameras captured Montero coming and going from the Jeep. Officers conducted surveillance on the Jeep. Montero returned to his Jeep, saw the officers and attempted to get into an Uber and leave, police said.
Officers were able to take him into custody before the Uber could leave. Police were able to execute a search warrant on the Jeep and found 17 cell phones, many of them wrapped in aluminum foil. Police say the foil was used in an attempt to diminish their signals.
They also found a laptop and a woman’s wallet in the Jeep. One of the phones was identified as being stolen Saturday night from a man’s pocket while he was inside Kid Rock’s bar on Broadway, police said. The wallet was stolen from an Alabama woman Saturday night while she was in Jason Aldean’s bar on Broadway.
MNPD says the investigation is continuing to identify the owners of the other phones and the laptop recovered from Montero’s Jeep.
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