COCONUT CREEK (CBSMiami)– Broward Sheriff’s(BSO) Deputies removed thousands of toys from a South Florida home on Wednesday, toys they say were stolen.
The move comes following an investigation that lasted almost a year and landed a couple behind bars.
Deputies arrested the couple, Sela Mafi and Krishna Ramotar, on Wednesday.
They said the two had stolen thousands of toys and sold hundreds of them online.
“They were going into stores buying items but they were changing bar codes so that they were paying a greatly reduced price for each of the items…then they would turn around and sell those items online,” said Gina Carter with BSO.
Investigators say the couple would make the fake bar codes using a computer inside their home and that the profitable crime racket had been going on for at least a year.
The toys were stolen from Toys R Us, Target and Walmart stores in Deerfield Beach and surrounding cities, according to BSO.
The deputies removed the toys they found at the couples Coconut Creek home located at 6020 N.W. 42 Ave and took the items into evidence.
Deputies say the husband and wife had transformed their garage into a place to hide the stolen merchandise.
“They have a false wall built-in to their garage. It’s basically like a makeshift stock department. They have it stocked floor to ceiling with all kinds of different action figures and Lego sets,” said Carter with BSO.
As deputies loaded up the stolen loot, neighbors looked on in disbelief.
“Completely out of the blue, I would have thought police were coming to someone else’s house than their house,” said neighbor Deon Zambrano. “I never noticed anything like that, nothing out of the ordinary. Everything seemed typical middle class family neighborhood.”
Investigators said they will work with the stores to determine the value of all the merchandise but the couple had items listed for sale online that totaled $ 60,000.
Deputies said Ebay and the Department of Homeland Security helped deputies build their case against the couple.