New Information On Arrests Made In Arlington Construction Theft Ring

Investigators say ring has been operating for a decade

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Shelby County deputies say they've broken up a construction theft ring that's been going on for at least a decade. Four men are now accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from construction sites out of Arlington.


This bust included teamwork between a local builder and the Shelby County alert team.

A builder that alerted Shelby County sheriff's office about a large drop off he was going to make of shingles in Arlington, but he was worried because of recent thefts reported in the area.

Detectives set up a still watch, caught the men in action and followed them to a home on Chelsea. Shelby County deputies revealed roughly $800,000 of construction material they confiscated in the recent bust.

Roofing supplies like shingles, nails, and rolled trim are just some of the items investigators say the suspects stored inside of the home on Chelsea.

“They've been here for over ten years and the neighbors are telling us now that they've always seen roofing, or individuals in the roofing business, come by and pick up shingles and then go on to their jobs,” says Shelby County Chief Deputy Floyd Bonner. "This is almost like going to Lowes or Home Depot, you know shingle shopping."

Bonner says this was a well-oiled operation led by Iserel Dela Cruz that targeted construction sites in Arlington. Deputies also arrested Oscar Celallos, Jose Lopez and Victor Gonzalez.

“We looked back at the history, we noticed that we had six or seven construction thefts in the area, but had it not been for that builder calling us we never would have set up on it,” says Bonner.

Deputies say the men were selling the stolen goods as well as housing illegal immigrants.

“It was quite a few individuals living here, and that's part of the ongoing investigation to see who was involved with what,” says Bonner. “The officers have seen several construction crews come by like they were coming by to pick up a load a shingles to build houses.”

ICE has also joined this investigation to see if these men were illegal immigrants. Charges could be upgraded if they can match the items to a particular victim or company.

If you believe your company was affected by this, please call the Shelby County Sheriff's Office alert unit.

 

 

 


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