SOUTHINGTON — A local man faces charges after police said he was involved in a power tool theft scheme. Almost $100,000 worth of stolen merchandise was found at his home, police said.
Francisco Martorell, 40, of 1352 Meriden Ave., was arrested last week and charged with first-degree larceny.
On Oct. 15, 2020 police received a complaint that Martorell was selling high end power tools online, police spokesman Lt. Keith Egan said in a statement Friday. Martorell was previously investigated multiple times for selling stolen power tools. This included an incident in February 2020 where Martorell was arrested on charges he acted as a “fence.” Egan described a “fence” as a person who acts as a middle man between the thieves and a buyer. The “fence” knowingly buys stolen goods and sells them for a profit, Egan noted.
An investigation showed Martorell spoke with “boosters” and discuss the items Martorell wanted stolen, Egan said. A “booster” is a skilled, professional shoplifter who sells their stolen goods to fences or pawn shops, Egan stated. Martorell would then post the items on his Facebook marketplace account and/or his offerup.com account for sale. Police confirmed Martorell had many items for sale, and all appeared new.
Police searched Martorell’s home and found 349 items, which had a retail value of about $93,104, Egan stated. The items were mostly new and in boxes. Home Depot employees confirmed most of the items seized were sold in their stores and were able to provide police video footage of the thefts, Egan said. Police determined Martorell knew he was in possession of stolen property.
Martorell turned himself in to police on July 22 and was later released on $20,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court on Aug. 5.