BROOKSVILLE — Many of the suspects rounded up by Hernando sheriff's deputies in a recent operation didn't look far for the goods they're accused of stealing.
Over the course of three days earlier this month, deputies arrested and charged 14 suspects with burglary, grand theft, dealing in stolen property, defrauding a pawn broker or a combination of those charges. In many cases, the suspects targeted their friends or family members.
The suspects raised red flags because of their excessive or suspicious transactions at secondhand dealers such as pawn shops, gold buyers and video game stores, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Michael Burzumato.
Many of the victims didn't realize they were victims until investigators told them that their valuables had turned up at pawn stores or other secondhand dealers, Burzumato said.
That fits a typical pattern, Burzumato said. Family and friends are often first victims, especially if suspects are struggling with drug addiction.
"Once their friends and family cut them off," he said, "then they start victimizing strangers."
The operation resulted in the closing of 32 felony cases.
The 14 suspects charged are:
• Kayla Alvino, 26, of Spring Hill
• Jamie Bledsoe, 29, of Spring Hill
• Aaron Bookhamer, 19, of Spring Hill
• Thomas Fernandez, 18, of Brooksville
• Brian Friday, 33, of Spring Hill
• Steven Gentry, 32, of Spring Hill
• Kristin Greaves, 26, of Spring Hill
• Desiree Jefferson, 19, of Spring Hill
• Alex Karambelas, 20, of Brooksville
• Dennis Martin Jr., 32, of Spring Hill
• Rosalind Moore, 48, of Spring Hill
• Timothy Smith, 36, of Spring Hill
• George Wood, 26, of Spring Hill
• Tawana Woods, 40, of Brooksville
Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or email@example.com.