Three people ran a scheme to steal thousands of undelivered Amazon packages but were busted by cops after they dumped hundreds of boxes in Oklahoma, authorities said.
One man accused in what the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office called a “massive Amazon theft ring” was apparently a third-party delivery driver for the company who may have loaded extra pallets on a truck, cops said.
The stolen packages were taken to a home in Luther, where police found them stacked throughout the house, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
Deputies began an investigation on Friday after they found 600 illegally dumped Amazon packages, mostly emptied of their contents, according to the office. The thieves left behind books, including a copy of the Quran, in a rural area, KFOR-TV reported.
Authorities said tracking information showed the packages had left an Amazon facility but never arrived at a US Postal Service location for delivery.
“Every one of these packages was supposed to be delivered by Christmas Day,” sheriff’s spokesman Aaron Brilbeck told KFOR-TV. “So, 600 people didn’t get their Christmas gifts as a result of this.”
Near the dumpsite, deputies found a garbage bag with a receipt and an addressed envelope that led them to the home where they found “thousands” of undelivered packages, some still wrapped on pallets, cops said.
“Packages were stored throughout the home in almost every room and filled the storm shelter,” the news release said.
Deputies identified the perpetrators as Cesar Yasnier Cerqueira Rojas, an undocumented Cuban immigrant, who drove a delivery truck owned by Dinneris Matos Delgado. Police also arrested Maikel Perez Laurencio, 38, who they said was also a third-party driver and undocumented immigrant from Cuba.
The trio face charges included possession of stolen property and embezzlement with more charges likely to be filed, the sheriff’s office said.
“It’s important to note, we are working to verify the identities of Rojas and Laurencio,” the release said. “They provided us with identification from Cuba, but we question whether the ID’s are authentic.”
An Amazon spokesperson said in the release that the company is working with customers who were affected by the thefts.