South Daytona, FL – The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office arrests eight people today for participating in what detectives are calling a major theft ring centered around a particular brand of power drill.
VCSO’s “Operation Bay One Bandits” saw deputies seize hundreds of stolen DeWalt power drills – which are sold retail for around $100 to $150 a piece – from Richard Hill’s Music & Pawn Shop on South Nova Road in South Daytona.
The “Bay One” name comes from the location where DeWalt drills are kept at Home Depot.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood says Richard Hill – the owner of the store – and seven others ran a “pretty sophisticated” scheme since 2014 to steal these drills off the shelves of Home Depot locations in the Central Florida area and sell them to unsuspecting customers.
“[The detectives] discovered that over a million dollars of these [stolen] drills were being sold [at] this pawn shop [and] online on eBay,” Chitwood added.
In a press release issued after Chitwood’s press conference, VCSO says the actual dollar figure of product lost by Home Depot was just under $1 million. Many of the thefts were reported at store locations in Daytona Beach, Port Orange and Palm Coast.
The investigation started late last year with a tip received by VCSO from loss prevention personnel at Home Depot and blossomed from there, according to Chitwood.
“Volusia County detectives, when they get a tip, they are going to work it and run it into the ground,” Chitwood noted. “This is another example of the great work of the men and women behind me.”
Detectives say the other seven people involved were paired up into two separate groups, one of which has been tied to around $100,000 worth of stolen drills and the other to around $800,000.
So many drills were seized by VCSO today that two cargo vans were needed to carry all of them away.
The names and photos of the five men and two women arrested are posted below. All are facing racketeering charges. Detectives hope to eventually charge all eight under the RICO statute, many of whom had criminal pasts, per Chitwood.
Paul Paradis (Jason’s father)