PHOENIX -- Police have arrested a man they say was behind a series of thefts going back to the start of the year and costing store owners thousands of dollars.
According to Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department, officers picked up Jonathan Vildosola last Monday.
The investigation started when a patrol officer from the Central City Precinct responded to a shoplifting call involving Vildosola. Looking at information provided by store employees, the officer determined that this was not Vildosola's first alleged robbery.
Working hand in hand with the Neighborhood Enforcement Team of the Central City Precinct, investigators pieced together Vildosola's movements over the past several months and learned that he was the suspect in a series of thefts between Jan. 5 and March 28.
Investigators say he had been going to various Valley stores and stealing Jawbone Jambox speaker systems that generally retail for about $300 each. According to detectives, Vildosola, 29, stole more than 20 of the Jawbone Jambox units to the tune of about $6,000. Police say he sold several of the speaker systems on Facebook and craigslist.
"Due to the number of times Vildosola was involved in these crimes, the officers developed probable cause that he was operating an organized retail theft operation and trafficking in stolen property," Thompson said in a media alert.
According to A.R.S. § 13-1819, organized retail theft is when a person "[r]emoves merchandise from a retail establishment without paying the purchase price with the intent to resell or trade the merchandise for money or for other value." The charge is a class 4 felony, which, depending on several factors, carries a sentence of between one and 3.75 years for first-time offenders and up to 15 years for a repeat offender.
Depending on whether it's first or second degree, trafficking in stolen property is either a class 2 or a class 3 felony. A class 2 felony carries a sentence of between three and 12.5 years for first-time offenders and up to 35 years for repeat offenders. A class 3 felony carries between two and 8.75 years for first-timers and up to 25 for recidivists.
Vildosola faces 18 counts of organized retail theft and 17 counts of trafficking in stolen property.