Deputies: Third arrest in Pasco school burglaries - WFLA News Channel 8

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>>

  • Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Back-to-School Tax-free Holiday is here

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:37:09 GMT
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
    It's almost time to head back to school and that means it's time to shop.
  • Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Tampa Bay woman feels ripped off, pays $61 for coins worth $1.50

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:10:55 GMT
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
    Vickie McInnis responded to a newspaper ad promising a chance to buy old, rarely-seen coins that have been sitting in a bank vault for years.With shipping, she paid $61.43. But, here's what she received: a bag of about 100 pennies, worth at most: $1.50.
  • Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Tampa Bay Water begins filling Bill Young reservoir

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:45:52 GMT
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
    Tampa Bay Water is celebrating a rebirth of sort for its beleaguered Bill Young reservoir. TBW is now diverting water from the Alafia river and filling the reservoir after a massive gutting and renovation project that cost in excess of $124 million dollars.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Body found near Polk search area for missing girl

    Body found near Polk search area for missing girl

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:58 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:58:00 GMT
    A decomposed body has been found near the search area for a missing 16-year-old Orange County girl.According to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, an unidentified, decomposed body was found by a citizen at about 9:30 a.m. on Friday on State Road 532 between ChampionsGate and the Reunion Resort.
    A decomposed body has been found near the search area for a missing 16-year-old Orange County girl.According to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, an unidentified, decomposed body was found by a citizen at about 9:30 a.m. on Friday on State Road 532 between ChampionsGate and the Reunion Resort.
  • Back to School: Tips for affordable 'Teacher's wish lists'

    Back to School: Tips for affordable 'Teacher's wish lists'

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:47 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:47:24 GMT
    File Photo: Wikimedia CommonsFile Photo: Wikimedia Commons
    If you received one of those last minute "Teacher's Wish List" for back to school supplies, there are ways to fill it without breaking the bank.Mommy blogger and Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine contributor Laura Byrne recommends shopping with other parents at a warehouse store...
    If you received one of those last minute "Teacher's Wish List" for back to school supplies, there are ways to fill it without breaking the bank.Mommy blogger and Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine contributor Laura Byrne recommends shopping with other parents at a warehouse store...
  • Baycare Sports Medicine Conference is Saturday

    Baycare Sports Medicine Conference is Saturday

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:36 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:36:08 GMT
    The annual BayCare Sports Medicine Conference is Saturday, Aug. 9 starting at 8 a.m.This year, the topic is about keeping young athletes on the playing field and in the game.The keynote speaker is David Epstein, Sports Illustrated senior writer and author of the acclaimed book, The Sports Gene.
    The annual BayCare Sports Medicine Conference is Saturday, Aug. 9 starting at 8 a.m.This year, the topic is about keeping young athletes on the playing field and in the game.The keynote speaker is David Epstein, Sports Illustrated senior writer and author of the acclaimed book, The Sports Gene.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Gator comes to front door in Coral Springs home

    Gator comes to front door in Coral Springs home

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:17 AM EDT2014-08-01 11:17:15 GMT
    A couple in Coral Springs thought a raccoon was making noise at their front door but when they came out they found a large alligator there, WPLG reported. The alligator was about 9 feet long, according to the WPLG story.
    A couple in Coral Springs thought a raccoon was making noise at their front door but when they came out they found a large alligator there, WPLG reported. The alligator was about 9 feet long, according to the WPLG story.
  • Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Screams, panic caught on video as shark charges at swimmers near beach

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:48:04 GMT
    Facebook image from Dan FlynnFacebook image from Dan Flynn
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
    A Florida beach cleared out – with the exception of a woman and lifeguard who tried to save her – when a shark was spotted heading straight toward swimmers on Tuesday afternoon. The panic of the 10-foot shark and people screaming from the pier was caught on tape.
  • Giraffe dies after smashing head on low highway bridge

    Giraffe dies after smashing head on low highway bridge

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:37 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:37:45 GMT
    A giraffe has been killed after smashing its head on a bridge while being transported dangerously on a highway in South Africa, wildlife officials said Thursday.
    A giraffe has been killed after smashing its head on a bridge while being transported dangerously on a highway in South Africa, wildlife officials said Thursday.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

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