A quintet of would-be thieves didn’t do a good job of covering themselves as they committed their crimes and will now pay the price. A media outlet in Jacksonville, FL, highlighted the recent bust of a theft ring that was using electronic jammers to steal from gaming arcades in Columbia County. However, it indicates that the thieves were caught red-handed, leading to their downfall. While one was able to escape, the other four were arrested and are awaiting their day in court. They face charges of larceny and fraud.
Over $8,000 Stolen from Two Arcades
The group, which had reportedly made its way down to Jacksonville from North Carolina, came equipped with electronic jamming devices to carry out their plot. They reportedly knew what they were doing and were well-prepared, knowledgeable in the use of the devices to track the gaming machines into letting them play without having to introduce more money. Before being busted, they had managed to steal from three different properties.
The first theft occurred last Wednesday, which is when the gang was able to abscond with its biggest bounty, $8,000. However, the group’s luck ran out the next day when two of them tried again at another property. That one was managed by the same individual as the first and this time, he caught them in the act as they tried to collect $900 from a machine. The manager called the police and locked the door, trapping the pair inside.
When the police arrived, they searched the suspects’ car, finding the jammer and an unspecified amount of cash. Not 30 minutes later, another call came in from a different arcade, with the other three members of the group have tried to use a jammer at that venue. They were caught in the act after the machines’ anti-tampering software alerted security, but not before one of the three was able to escape.
Connecting the Dots
With three properties hit in two days and links established between the individuals, police were able to put names to faces. The four who were caught were identified as Gabrien Brooks, 25; Jordan Stoney, 23; Khadijah Thomas, 27; and Brandon Walls, 31, while the identity of the fifth individual is still trying to be uncovered. Brooks and Stoney were the two that were nabbed first on Thursday, with Thomas and Walls falling a half-hour later.
In conducting the investigation, police found six jamming devices in total, in addition to the cash. In addition to the $8,000 the thieves almost got away with, they may have bilked another property out of at least $2,200, as Walls, Thomas, and the third person repeatedly cashed out tickets for $100 every few minutes while continuing to carry out their plot at the arcade. None of the properties were identified by name.