PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- Six people were arrested yesterday by detectives from both the Sheriff’s Office and the Punta Gorda Police Department at the Murdock Home Depot on charges related to theft and dealing in stolen property.
Detectives from both the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office and the Punta Gorda Police Department have been investigating several cases in which stolen merchandise from one Home Depot would be taken to another Home Depot location and returned for cash or store credit gift cards.
On Thursday afternoon, PGPD detectives called CCSO to advise that a group of suspects were at the Home Depot located at 19690 Cochran Blvd. and that they were possibly in the process of trying to make such a fraudulent return. CCSO deputies and detectives located a black Ford Explorer in the parking lot. Inside the vehicle were Travis Eugene Boyles, 30; Marina Helen Beggs, 23; Ryan Paul Churchill, 26; and Rachel Lynne O’Neal, 24.
Punta Gorda detectives advised they had sufficient evidence from their investigations to charge Boyles with two counts of Grand Theft. According to reports, Boyles is alleged to have taken a toilet valued at more than $300 from the Home Depot located in Punta Gorda on February 28. On March 10, Boyles is alleged to have taken more than $1,700 worth of merchandise past the cash registers without paying for the items. When store employees tried to stop him, he abandoned the merchandise and fled in a black Ford Explorer.
The detectives’ investigation on Thursday found that Boyles, Beggs, Churchill and O’Neal had all worked together to attempt to return two sinks valued at $673 to the Murdock Home Depot. Markings on the sinks indicated they came from the Home Depot store in Venice. Home Depot loss prevention personnel who were on-hand were able to determine that both sinks had been stolen earlier in the day Thursday. As a result, CCSO detectives charged all four people with Dealing in Stolen Property.
Boyles is being held on a $20,000 bond. Beggs and Churchill are being held on a $10,000 bond. O’Neal was released on a $10,000 bond.
While detectives from both agencies were still on-scene at the Murdock Home Depot, a CCSO detective recognized two people at the store that they were looking for from a separate, unrelated case. Detectives made contact with Shelia Jane Machado, 55, and Arnulfo Machado-Cruz, 52, both of 12 Glendora Avenue in Arcadia. Machado-Cruz was located sitting in a car in the parking lot, while Shelia Machado was in the store trying to return an air conditioner unit and car floor mats.
According to reports, they are alleged to have worked together on March 1 to take more than $600 worth of merchandise from the Home Depot in North Port and return the items to the Murdock Home Depot for both cash and a store credit gift card that same date.
During the investigation, detectives located almost $400 worth of items in the truck of the couple’s car. These items were identified by Home Depot loss prevention personnel as having been stolen from the Murdock store earlier in the day Thursday. Detective inventoried the items and returned them to Home Depot.
Machado-Cruz was charged with two counts of Grand Theft and two counts of Dealing in Stolen Property. He is being held at the Charlotte County Jail on a total $37,500 bond. Machado was charged with one count of Grand Theft and two counts of Dealing in Stolen Property. She is being held on a total $30,000 bond.
Detectives from both the Sheriff’s Office and Punta Gorda Police Department are continuing their investigations.