Cops: Philadelphia men stole iPhones worth $41K from Frazer Walmart
Two Philadelphia men are accused of stealing nearly $41,000 worth of cellphones last month from the Walmart store in Frazer, and they are suspected in similar thefts in at least two other states.
“This is the biggest theft we’ve ever had at that Walmart by far. It is the largest singular incident of retail theft that we’ve ever had in Frazer,” said township police Chief Terry Kuhns.
James J. Jordan, 42, and Jahmir Andre Mitchell, 19, face felony charges of participating in a corrupt organization, receiving stolen property and retail theft and a misdemeanor conspiracy charge. They remain at large.
As of Tuesday afternoon, police had not filed charges against a third man believed to have been involved in the alleged heist.
Court paperwork outlining the charges against Jordan and Mitchell say police responded to Walmart early Dec. 18 for a reported shoplifting in progress. Three men ran out of the store before police arrived, and one had a suitcase full of merchandise, the complaint said.
A search of the area came up empty.
Police said surveillance footage showed the men going to the electronics section after entering the store around 2:30 a.m. They waited for an employee to walk away and then dragged two suitcases over to an iPhone display case, pried the case open and filled the suitcases with merchandise. They ran when an employee confronted them and left the store in two vehicles, one of which was insured by Mitchell, the complaint said.
Police said they found a suitcase containing up to 20 Apple watches near the display case. A store employee said the men made off with a suitcase containing 47 iPhones, the complaint said.
Frazer police said they were later notified about a similar theft in November at a Walmart in South Strabane, Washington County. In that case, multiple suspects used suitcases to steal at least $25,000 worth of iPads.
The complaint said Mitchell and Jordan also are suspected of stealing $15,000 worth of iPhones or Apple products from a Walmart in North Brunswick, N.J., in October. Authorities are also working to determine whether the men were involved in similar thefts at Walmart stores in Crawford County and Midlothian, Va.
“The fact it’s continuing high-end thefts of iPhones indicates their organized nature,” Kuhns said.
The chief said iPhones stolen in bulk amounts, such as the ones in Frazer, are often shipped and flown overseas to be sold.
“They’re getting huge profits from selling the stolen cellphones overseas,” Kuhns said.
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, email@example.com, or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib.
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .