Attorney General Ashley Moody, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shut down a major organized retail theft operation that spanned 16 counties. An investigation by Attorney General Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and FDLE found that an organized retail crime ring caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses to Home Depot. Attorney General Moody’s Statewide Prosecutors are charging six defendants with felony counts of grand theft.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The suspects in this case went to great lengths and long distances to execute this elaborate construction rental scheme—stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in heavy construction equipment. They thought they were being clever by using stolen identities and smashing the GPS trackers on the equipment, but it wasn’t enough to outsmart Sheriff Judd’s deputies, FDLE and my Statewide Prosecutors.”

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, “We appreciate the hard work and cooperation from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution—because of the multi-county theft and fraud that occurred in this case, we could not have held these thieves accountable without their state-wide resources. Retail theft is a serious problem in Florida. It drives up the cost of goods and we all suffer through higher prices. These brazen thieves made a living systematically stealing. They made the mistake of stealing in Polk County—our detectives are among the best in the nation investigating organized retail theft. We will absolutely hold them accountable and put their butts in jail and then prison.”