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Craigslist post leads police to thief

July 31, 2012
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The Fort Myers Police Department's Investigations Bureau has linked a local man to at least three burglaries after the thief posted stolen items for sale on Craigslist. Police arrested Fort Myers Beach resident Emanuel Collazo, age 28, for burglary, dealing in stolen property and grand theft.

On Friday, July 26, 2012 police received a report of a vehicle burglary that happened at the Value Place located at 4395 Colonial Boulevard. The victims reported that tools and other items had been stolen from their pickup truck. On Sunday, July 29, 2012 the victims identified their stolen property in a new posting on Craigslist and brought the information to police. Lieutenant Jeff Bernice, Sergeant Brian O'Reilly, Officer James Codding, Detectives Dion Freeman, Charles Newell and Mike Walsh established a plan to conduct a buy of the stolen property from the seller. Sergeant O'Reilly placed a call to the seller with an interest to purchase the victims' stolen tools. The two agreed to meet at a local convenience store. Sergeant O'Reilly then purchased the tools from the seller. Once the transaction was made, uniformed officers were called in and the suspect was arrested without incident. Police identified the seller as Emanuel Collazo.

A search of Collazo's home led police to an abundance of other suspected stolen property including, musical instruments, electronics, tools, laptops, sports trading cards and samurai swords. Investigators are currently photographing and cataloging the property in an attempt to link it to other reported burglaries and locate the rightful owners.



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