(FOX19) - Six adults and two juveniles are facing felony charges for what investigators believe are at least 61 related cell phone store break-ins in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office announced Monday.
Prosecutors say the suspects, who operated in two separate but related groups are accused of committing the "smash and grab" crimes between April 2012 and this past January.
DeWine's office said the individuals typically targeted Verizon Wireless businesses and are believed to have stolen more than $300,000 in electronics such as Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices. The suspects then allegedly sold the devices and spent the money on items such as designer clothing and hotel rooms.
Although the two groups are charged as separate criminal organizations, investigators found that both groups used an identical method of operation and some suspects are believed to have committed crimes with both sets of individuals, the attorney general's office said.
Indictments filed in Warren County last week say that members of Group No. 1 are believed to have committed at least 34 break-ins spanning 27 law enforcement jurisdictions in Ohio and Kentucky.
The crimes committed by members of Group No. 1 are alleged to have happened between April 30, 2012, and Nov. 6, 2013.
Lamar Caviness, 18, of Dayton, and Gary Pullen, 34, of Dayton, are facing numerous felonies, including grand theft and money laundering. A total of 52 charges were filed combined against the two men.
A complaint was also filed against a juvenile in connection with Group No. 1's operation, the attorney general's office said.
Indictments were filed in Greene County, Ohio near Dayton last week for a second group. The charge are in connection with at least 27 break-ins spanning 22 law enforcement jurisdictions in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The crimes committed by members of the second group are alleged to have happened between Dec. 27, 2013, and Jan. 31.
Antone Jackson, 18, of Dayton, Duane Taylor, 20, of Dayton, Michael Roberson, 19, of Dayton, and Kevin Snowden, 18, of Dayton are facing a total of 61 charges.
A complaint was also filed against a juvenile in connection with the second group's operation. Charges against at least one additional suspect are expected to be filed in the future, DeWine's office said.
Caviness, Jackson, Taylor, Roberson and Snowden are currently in custody. A warrant has been issued for Pullen's arrest.
Tristate police departments involved in the investigation include Cincinnati, Colerain Township, Delhi Township, Florence, Ky., Springboro, Springdale, Warren County Sheriff's Office and West Chester.
Businesses that the groups are believed to have targeted include Verizon Wireless on Cox Lane in West Chester, Verizon Wireless on Mason-Montgomery Road in Mason, The Wireless Center on Isabella Avenue in Oakley, Verizon Wireless on Loveland Madeira Road in Symmes Township, Verizon Wireless on Delhi Road in Delhi Township, Verizon Wireless on North Bend Road in Green Township and Verizon Wireless on Heritage Green Drive in Monroe in the first group.
In the second group, the businesses are Verizon Wireless on Cox Lane in West Chester and T-Mobile on Colerain Avenue in Colerain Township.