Officials: More than 100 iPhones stolen from Baton Rouge Best Buy in multi-state crime spree
BATON ROUGE - Three out-of-towners suspected in multiple heists in the gulf coast region were arrested late Monday night after they were caught with more than 100 stolen phones in a Baton Rouge hotel.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office says the break-in happened overnight at the Best Buy off Bluebonnet Boulevard, near the Mall of Louisiana. Arrest records say two men broke in through a side entrance and were seen on surveillance video going straight for the cell phone cabinets and prying the doors open.
The two then grabbed a nearby trash can and loaded it up with iPhones from the cases before running back out the side entrance with the can in tow. The thieves then took off in a silver SUV.
A Best Buy manager told deputies the thieves stole 119 iPhones, valued at roughly $110,477 in total.
After learning the burglary bore a striking resemblance to other other recent break-ins at Best Buy stores in Texas, Alabama and the Lake Charles area, investigators began scoping out local hotels for the suspect vehicle.
Deputies eventually found a matching SUV at a Residence Inn Motel about two miles away from the crime scene. Inside, they spotted a yellow prybar, black gloves and a hoodie sitting on the backseat in plain view. They also found the trash can used in the heist in a wooded area nearby.
Authorities ran the vehicle's plate and found it was a rental car being rented out by Davlon Harris, a Georgia native. Deputies were able to find Harris' hotel room and obtained a warrant to search it.
Inside the room, deputies found Harris and two other men identified as Bakari Wilright and Lawrence Epperson, both from California. They also found a duffel bag loaded with 107 iPhones which matched the ones that were stolen.
All three men were arrested and booked into the parish jail on charges of felony theft and damage to property. The sheriff's office confirmed they are also suspected in the Lake Charles and Alabama thefts.
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