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Fremont Police Department (CA)
Friday November 8th, 2019 :: 08:40 a.m. PST

Community

Detectives finish seven-month investigation by arresting several suspects in large-scale fencing operation.

On October 25, 2019, the Fremont Police Department served eight simultaneous search warrants in the Bay Area (four in Hayward, one in San Lorenzo, one in San Francisco) and two in El Cajon, California which involved the participation and coordination of nine law enforcement agencies and two private companies. 
 
The warrants were the culmination of a 7-month investigation involving a business in Hayward called Torspin Wireless.  As part of ongoing efforts to combat the rise in auto burglaries involving the loss of electronics, investigators developed information that Torspin Wireless was the largest electronics fence for stolen property in the Bay Area.  Through hundreds of hours of surveillance, Detectives were able to confirm the business was conducting illegal activity and their methods were actually driving crime in the region, specifically robberies of high end cellular phones and auto burglaries.
 
In August of this year, the Oakland Police Department and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office culminated the investigation of two Oakland based robbery crews stealing new phones, primarily iPhones, from FedEx and UPS trucks.  In total, that investigation involved 62 robberies or grand thefts in 31 cities across 10 counties with a retail loss of $987,000.   A total of 12 suspects were arrested.  These same suspects were surveilled by law enforcement selling the stolen phones to Torspin Wireless almost immediately after several of the robberies.   Press release:
 
https://www.alcoda.org/newsroom/2019/sep/cell_phone_robbery
 
Through the course of this lengthy investigation, Detectives learned Torspin Wireless was working with and being financed by another business called MJ Wireless in El Cajon, California. Detectives conducted multiple surveillance operations and eight undercover buy/sell operations between the two stores.  During the operations, undercover detectives sold a total of 145 reported stolen phones for over $45,000 dollars to the stores.
 
On October 25, 2019, undercover detectives coordinated the sale of 900 stolen iPhone 11’s, with a retail value of $1.3 million to MJ Wireless and Torspin Wireless.  During this final operation a total of eight suspects were arrested, several of which were armed at the time.  Detectives recovered approximately $350,000 is cash, 1,800 electronic devices, four firearms (two shotguns and two handguns) and evidence indicating the vast majority of the phones were being shipped overseas to places such as Dubai, Vietnam, Mexico, China, Russia, Iran and many others.  
 
“We are pleased with the results of this investigation,” said Fremont PD Lieutenant Michael Tegner.  “However, these results could not have been achieved without the help of partner agencies throughout the state.  We know these fencing operations and the high price they pay for cell phones drive the auto burglary epidemic in the Bay Area.  We are hoping these arrests help to lower the crime rate.”
 
The Hayward Police Department, San Jose Police Department, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Internal Revenue Service, Silicon Valley Regional Computer Forensic Lab, and San Diego Regional Computer Forensic Lab assisted during this investigation.
 
This remains an open and ongoing investigation.  At this time four of the eight suspects arrested on October 25th have been charged.  Anyone with information is asked to please contact the Fremont Police Department’s Investigative Division (General Crimes) at 510-790-6900 or email Detective J. Roberts at Jroberts@fremont.gov. We will also accept anonymous tips.  Text TIP FREMONTPD followed by your message to 888-777, or via the web at https://local.nixle.com/tip/alert/6216337.
 

Address/Location
Fremont Police Department (CA)
2000 Stevenson Blvd
Fremont, CA 94538

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Non-emergencies: 510-790-6800

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