Police: Man caught hiding $1M in stolen property, pot operation

Items that were stolen

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by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 4 at 2:36 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte police arrested a man they say is responsible for one of the largest property theft rings they’ve seen in years.

Daniel Reyes, 40, is charged with four counts of possession of stolen property from break-ins to Barefoot Archery on Old Pineville Road, SafGard on Westinghouse Boulevard, American Army

Surplus on East Independence Boulevard and Diver’s Supply on Clanton Road.

Investigators say Reyes could be responsible for as many as 20 break-ins and thefts over the last two years.

NewsChannel 36 reported on the Barefoot Archery robbery last December.  The alleged thief Reyes stole thousands of dollars in bows and valuable elk, deer and bear mounts from a handicapped man at the archery store.

A three-month investigation led to Reyes’ arrest.  

Police found a stash of stolen loot worth an estimated $1 million inside a building in Kannapolis.  Before that, investigators say Reyes kept his stash on Westinghouse Boulevard.

“What we’ve learned about this group is they don’t spend a lot of time in one place, but while they are there they certainly do a lot of damage,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Captain Allan Rutledge.

Investigators say every type of thing you could imagine was stored from the floor to the ceiling and that Reyes had his own shipping center with shrink wrap in the building.

“We’ve been able to identify stolen items from Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Nevada and Oklahoma,” said Capt. Rutledge.
Investigators say Reyes sold the stolen items on Craigslist and eBay.

“Who knows what found its way out of the warehouse before we were able to execute the search warrant,” Rutledge said.

Detectives said they are working to identify the owners of the recovered property.

Barefoot Archery owner Jessie Smith says Reyes stole $90,000 worth of merchandise and trophies, but he’s gotten back about $9,000 of that.

“I’m glad they caught somebody,” Smith said.  “I’m glad we got our trophies back, but as far as merchandise, very little compared to what they took from us that day.”

Police also found a marijuana growing operation inside the building, with 57 plants worth an estimated $15,000.

Reyes had outstanding arrest warrants in Jefferson County, Kentucky for breaking and entering and larceny charges.

Two other men, Ineido Cepero Aldana, 23, and Elias Larosa, 29, are also wanted for their roles in the operation, police said.

Additional charges are expected.

Reyes is in Mecklenburg jail under an $85,000 bond, but jail officials have also put an immigration hold on him because they believe he is in the country illegally. It wasn't known if Reyes has an attorney.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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