Beware of Internet buys

Glendale police are warning anyone who makes purchases over the Internet to do so with reputable companies. An arrest last week found a suspect that had sold thousands of dollars worth of stolen items on the Internet.

According to Glendale Detective Miguel Porras, detectives from Orem, Utah contacted his department concerning a suspect, Christopher Adam Gallegos, 22, whom they had traced to Glendale.

Porras said the Utah detectives had received information from someone in North Carolina who had purchased an iPod on eBay from the suspect.

“When he went to register it through Apple, he was told it was stolen and given a number to contact the Orem police,” Porras said.

Through eBay records the police were able to trace the seller to a Glendale address. A search warrant was issued to Gallegos' apartment in the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue. Over $40,000 worth of property was found including numerous pairs of sunglasses with a combined value of $20,000.

Some of the items are thought to have been taken during three burglaries committed on July 1 in Orem. Gallegos is suspected of being involved in those burglaries, Porras said.

“The public needs to be aware there are stolen items sold on eBay [and the Internet],” Porras said.

“But when you buy something through [an established site like] eBay you are protected. They have a 90-day fraud and theft protection program.”

He said that detectives are reviewing Gallegos' records and have found that several of the stolen items were sold across the country. Some were sold for over $1,000.

Porras warned that although it may be tempting to buy items from someone directly to avoid paying transaction costs, there is little recourse if the property is stolen.

“I would try to stay away from person-to-person purchases,” he advised.


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