Doral

Doral police: Mall jeans bandit, two electronics thieves all behind bars

Doral police have arrested a man they say stole more than $2,500 worth of jeans from the JCPenney store at International Mall, 1455 NW 107th Ave.

James Francisco Castro was arrested Feb. 27 after wiping the shelves clean, according to police.

Store surveillance video gave him away.

Castro, who is also a registered sex offender, was arrested at home.

Police say Castro, 36, has been on their radar since 2013, when he began his shoplifting spree. His approach is always the same.

“He entered the store, walked to the Levi’s display jeans rack,” the police report said. “The defendant then picked up a stack of jeans [15] and walked out of the store.”

Sometimes he would hop into a getaway car, and other times he would ride away on his blue bicycle. Why the serial shoplifter took stacks of blue Levis is still a mystery, police say.

“I don’t snitch,” he said, according to the police report, refusing to say where he stashed the pants.

Records show Castro has a criminal past for lewd and lascivious assault on child, tempering with a witness/victim, stalking, culpable negligence, probation violation, grand theft, drug possession, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, violation of sex offender registration, possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

The arrest was one of several recently that police detectives are calling a “win.”

“It shows you the extreme of cases that we take,” Doral Sgt. Enrique Mulet said. “Do you know the work that entails from my detectives to put a case like that together?”

Also in police custody are Geovanny Zavala, 31, and Pedro Lopez, 48. The duo are accused of stealing about $37,000 worth of cellphones, iPhones and iPads from Ingram Micro, a local import and export company on three separate occasions since September 2014.

Zavala, a former warehouse employee of the company, was arrested March 5 while already in jail for other felonies. Lopez turned himself in to police on March 4.

According to a police report, Zavala would repackage the electronics, hide them, then take them to the docking station, load them into Lopez’s truck and would then go on a break and drive away.

Police say Lopez was an independent contractor who would pick off and drop off shipments.

“Zavala is seen in video surveillance selecting several boxes containing electronic devices, packing those boxes in different or bigger boxes [then] handing the boxes to Lopez as he waits by the receiving bay doors. Lopez then places the boxes inside his white van and departs,” according to a police report.

Mulet said warehouse burglaries are common in Doral as the city continues to expand.

It is unclear when the two cases will go before the court. Both companies plan to prosecute, police say.

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