ALHAMBRA (CBSLA.com) — A delivery driver faces charges of grand theft after police say they found thousands of dollars worth of undelivered merchandise at his home in East Los Angeles.
Eden Sergio Ortega, 37, was arrested Tuesday at his home in the 5300 block of Verona Street in Los Angeles, where detectives found iPhones, laptops, tablets, high-end women’s shoes, toys and three brand new large screen TVs that were still in their original packaging, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said.
Several of the stolen items were being used by Ortega and his family, Johnson said, but others were stored in a closet in their original packaging. The items recovered during the search warrant have a retail value in excess of $30,000, police said.
More than 70 pieces of evidence and merchandise, along with shipping boxes and labels listing the information of several Alhambra residents as intended buyers were found in the home, were apparently never delivered by Ortega, who worked as a delivery driver, police said.
The stolen packages were online orders from companies like Best Buy, Sephora, UGG and Nordstrom’s. Detectives believed the thefts started about two years ago and ramped up in late 2016. Detectives identified Ortega as the suspect after cross-referencing internal documents between various companies and receiving an anonymous tip.
Ortega, who posted $20,000 bail Wednesday, is scheduled to make his next court appearance on March 22. Johnson said Ortega’s employment status is not known.
The shipping company Ortega worked for “is well aware of the evidence we found, his role in the crimes and that he was arrested,” Johnson said, but added the company asked that their name not be released.