By Kevin Deutsch
A hot tip to Broward Sheriff’s Office Tamarac District detectives led to “cold justice” for a man suspected of selling stolen high-end appliances online.
Detectives launched Operation Cold Justice, an undercover operation, in late July. Their target: Luiz Rodrigues, 41, who took detectives inside several storage units in Pompano Beach, showing them stolen items he had posted for sale online.
The black market merchandise included pricey sub-zero refrigerators, cooktops, ovens, microwaves, and coffeemakers, according to BSO. The total retail value of the items in the storage units was more than $56,000.
According to an arrest affidavit, on Aug. 4, Rodrigues agreed to sell several stolen items to an undercover deputy for $18,500 in cash. Among the goods included in the deal were two stolen refrigerators.
After the bust, detectives recovered a dozen stolen appliances; all reported stolen from Ferguson Enterprises in Tamarac, deputies said. Investigators also seized more than $10,000 in cash.
Rodrigues, of Deerfield Beach, was arrested on August 4 and charged with two counts of dealing in stolen property. He has pleaded not guilty. Records show Rodrigues was released from the Broward Main Jail on a $7,500 bond.
The investigation into the thefts from Ferguson Enterprises is ongoing, deputies said.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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