Pastor charged with stealing $1.4M worth of items from Home Depot, attorney general says
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Gray News) – A pastor in Florida is facing felony charges for operating a multimillion-dollar theft ring stealing from The Home Depot, according to Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.
In a news release, officials said 56-year-old Robert Dell, a pastor from Pinellas County, was the mastermind behind the theft thing.
The attorney general said Dell worked with four accomplices, including his wife and his mother, to steal more than $1.4 million worth of items from Home Depot stores across the state and then sell the items on eBay. The items included name brands like Milwaukee and DeWalt products.
However, Home Depot suspects the losses go deeper than $1.4 million. The company believes the theft operation has been ongoing for more than 10 years, resulting in the loss of more than $5 million.
Dell is a pastor at The Rock Church and the founder of a halfway house, helping people recover from drug addiction.
“This pastor clearly skipped over the commandment – thou shall not steal,” Moody said in a news release.
Moody said co-conspirators Daniel Mace and Jessica Wild stole most of the merchandise and typically stole from Home Depot stores five to six times a day.
Mace and Wild allegedly then took the stolen items to Dell’s house to be sold on eBay.
Investigators said Dell used his positions of power as a pastor to “manipulate other vulnerable people to participate in the criminal scheme.” Officials said he demanded others to participate in the crimes, using the threat of abuse.
Dell was arrested last week and faces felony charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and dealing in stolen property as an organizer.
The attorney general’s office said Dell’s wife Jaclyn Dell and his mother Karen Dell assisted in the collection, shipment, and payment of the stolen items. Both women are facing charges.
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