(PHILADELPHIA) — Three Pennsylvania men are accused of stealing $50,000 worth of Rite Aid merchandise to sell at an illegally run basement drug store, according to police.
According to a report from the Falls Township Police Department in Fairless Hills, Pa., Edwin Burgos, Miguel Ortiz, and Juan Agosto were all arrested Thursday after officers allegedly caught them unloading items from a Rite Aid tractor-trailer.
Police said the items were being used to stock an illegal store in the basement of a Philadelphia home.
“The detectives were amazed at the sophistication of the operation,” Lt Henry Ward, of the Fairless Hills Police told ABC News station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.
Ward told WPVI-TV that investigators believe Agosto, 36, and Burgos, 36, allegedly had a deal with Ortiz, 40, who drove the Rite Aid truck.
Police said Agosto is the alleged operator of the fake store and that a loss prevention officer was the one who saw the men allegedly transfer items out of the truck. They also said investigators believe Ortiz paid approximately $400 for $2,000 to $3,000 worth of Rite Aid merchandise.
At the home where the merchandise was allegedly sold, Burgos had installed an extensive surveillance system, according to police.
“You can see in some of the photos that he had better surveillance than probably Rite Aid pharmacies have in their own stores,” Ward told WPVI-TV. “He had video cameras everywhere so he could see everything that was going on in the basement from upstairs in the house.”
The extensive surveillance system also means that anyone who was at the fake store or involved with running the store were likely caught on camera, according to Ward.
“It was very nice of them to get great surveillance tapes,” Ward told WPVI-TV. “Now we have them so, we’ll see who was in there, who was moving around.”
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