Lewis Martinez, 28, faces multiple felony charges of fraud, theft and resisting arrest.

Lewis Martinez, 28, faces multiple felony charges of fraud, theft and resisting arrest.

PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Police say a Phoenix man has been arrested for allegedly stealing almost $100K worth of iPhones from Walmarts and other retail stores around the Valley.

Lewis Martinez, 28, faces multiple felony charges of fraud, theft, money laundering, burglary, unlawful flight and resisting arrest. he also faces drug charges including possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Investigators believe that between May 6 and June 23, 2019, Martinez stole dozens and dozens of iPhones, Apple watches and other cell phones from stores around town.

Surveillance video in several cases showed a suspect in ski mask using a crowbar to break into locked electronics cases in the stores.

Police say acquaintances of Martinez told them that Martinez "has a guy that he sells the iPhones to," and that person allegedly resells them.

Following a two-month investigation, police tracked down Martinez on July 9. But when they located him, he reportedly drove off, running several red lights. He then pulled into a parking structure and ran away on foot.

But according to the police report, Martinez "actively resisted arrest by pulling away from detectives and climbing over a fence." In fact, he fell over a fence, pulling detectives along with him.

Several hours later, detectives managed to take Martinez into custody.

In an interview with detectives, Martinez told them he also uses heroin, and "admitted having to sell narcotics to keep up with his $500-$600 a day habit."

Police also say Martinez had a storage facility "to assist in the storing of stolen property and illicit drugs."

“Although friends and relatives assisted career criminal Lewis Martinez with evading capture, our detectives employed solid investigative strategies that led to his arrest,” said Colonel Frank Milstead, Director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

DPS calls Martinez "a career criminal," and that he had an extensive criminal history with more than 20 arrests.

 


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