News Releases are to be used for informational purposes only. Information provided should not be relied upon for any type of legal action.

More Than $15k Worth of Stolen Property Recovered

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 23-185



More Than $15k Worth of Stolen Property Recovered

In a commendable display of vigilance and swift action, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office successfully apprehended two individuals engaged in a complex retail theft operation.

On Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at approximately 1:30 p.m., observant store staff at Home Depot, at 9941 E. Adamo Drive, noticed two suspects, filling trash can boxes with high-value items, including tools, breakers, and switches, attempting to conceal the stolen items.

The suspects, Alain Sanchez Garcia, 41, and Leonardo Nunez Portal, 39, from Miami, were observed placing several items into boxes marked as trash cans, attempting to leave the store without payment. When confronted by a vigilant associate, the duo tried to pay only for the trash cans, but their card was declined. Subsequently, the suspects resorted to staging one of the boxes within the store while purchasing the other at a checkout counter, using a credit card.

Detectives within the HCSO Organized Retail Theft Working Group were conducting a one-day operation and executed a tactical takedown at the suspect's truck and trailer, leading to the recovery of the stolen items, totaling $3,945.23. Further inspection revealed additional taped boxes inside the vehicle, matching the stolen items, receipts from multiple Hillsborough County Home Depot stores, as well as receipts from two stores in Lee County from the previous day.

In total, HCSO recovered $15,497.54 worth of stolen property from Home Depot, involving grand thefts of $2,157.66 and $1,568.44 from the stores located at 712 N. Dale Mabry Highway and 6730 Memorial Highway.

"The successful collaboration between store personnel and law enforcement, in this case, is a testament to our community's dedication to maintaining safety and security," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "These two traveled across the state to commit crimes, score a deal, and steal right here in Hillsborough County, and now they will pay the price."

Both Garcia and Portal face multiple charges, including Grand Theft and Retail Theft. At the same time, Lee County authorities were alerted about their involvement in grand thefts in their jurisdiction.

Additional Images