Date: July 16, 2013
Business: Cash For Batteries, 8717 Nebraska Avenue, Tampa
Suspect: Sophia Desire Gill, DOB: 12/31/86, B/F, 13 Randolph Drive Pensacola, Florida (Manager)
Charges: 1 Count of Dealing in Stolen Property (felony) 2 Counts of Purchasing Restricted Regulated Metals without Proof of Ownership (felony) 4 Counts of Failing to Keep Required Records (Felony) 2 Counts of Purchasing Property Not Transported in Vehicle (felony)
More than 50 tons of batteries have moved through the unlicensed business since Detective Dan Hinsz launched the investigation that lasted 4 months. Today 7/16/13, officers made their final undercover sale and then seized more than 350 vehicle batteries from the business. It was the fourth time undercover officers sold batteries to the business after indicating the batteries were stolen. Twice, they walked up to the business pulling the batteries in a child's little red wagon. The law requires batteries to be transported in a vehicle to guard against the sale of stolen batteries.
Suspects have admitted to stealing batteries from businesses with fleets of vehicles or safety equipment and then selling them to Cash for Batteries. State statutes are in place regulating the sale of batteries to prevent businesses from buying stolen goods. This unlicensed business is circumventing the law when it buys property no questions asked. The law requires a businesses to document every puchase of restricted regulated material such as batteries on an FDLE form. The seller must provide a valid driver's license with a current address or a valid state I.D. The state also requires the sellers to provide a thumb print.
The investigation is ongoing. Addiitional arrests are pending.
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