MIAMI LAKES (CBSMiami) – Dozens of people showed up at Miami-Dade Police’s Northwest District on Saturday to see if they could recover their stolen power tools.

The police station’s parking lot looked like a gigantic garage sale. On display: more than 700 items, which detectives value at $300,000.

Saws, drills, hedgers, generators…it was a handyman’s delight. Police said they recovered the stolen stuff from the Opa-Locka home of 61-year-old Rafael Sofia.

Detectives said Sophia has operated a booth at the Opa-Locka Flea Market for the last 10 years. Investigators said he would buy the construction equipment from thieves across Florida, then re-sell the equipment.

Roilan Gomez owns a small landscaping business. He showed up at the police district hoping to find his stolen tools…and he did.

Gomez said his truck, trailer and all his tools – worth about $8500.00 – were stolen several weeks ago. He said he thought about getting out of the business but he had some help from friends and family.

“I started to work because between family and friends they started to loan me the equipment and necessary tools to help me do what I need to do. Imagine since November 3rd to this day I haven’t been able to sleep. I think I’m going to sleep tonight,” Gomez said.

Hundreds of tools including air compressors, drills, drill press, angle grinders, chain saws, generators, hammer drills, nail guns, pole saws, precision lasers, pressure washers and other items are there.

The items will be available to the public throughout the weekend. If you think any of the equipment may belong to you, police ask that you bring receipts, police reports and/or any valuable information to serve as proof of ownership.

The property is at:
Miami-Dade Police Department
Northwest District
5975 Miami Lakes Drive East
Miami Lakes, Florida 33014

The items can still be viewed on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As for Rafael Sofia, he is facing 7 counts of dealing in stolen property. As the items’ owners come forward, police said his list of charges will grow.


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