FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2021
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Public Information Bureau (609) 882-2000
Lt. Adam Dewechter - ext. 6516
SFC Lawrence Peele - ext. 6531
Sgt. Philip Curry - ext. 6515
Sgt. Alejandro Goez - ext. 6527
Tpr. II Charles Marchan - ext. 6513
Tpr. Brandi Slota - ext. 6515
Upper Twp., N.J. - The New Jersey State Police have charged Mizael Alfonso, 47, Marie Frometa Rodriguez, 41, Manuel Barbosa Mendiluza, 58, and Ciro Perez Martinez, 29, all of Miami, FL, for allegedly stealing high-end Global Positioning Systems (GPS) from marine vessels across multiple states along the east coast. During the two-year investigation, detectives linked the suspects to more than $300,000.00 worth of stolen GPS systems in southern New Jersey.
In November 2019, troopers from the State Police Woodbine Station began investigating the theft of marine electronics from a boat yard in Cape May County. While investigating the theft, troopers contacted the owner’s insurance company and discovered that similar claims were filed in New Jersey, North Carolina, and Massachusetts.
Through various investigative means, troopers identified Alfonso, Rodriguez, Mendiluza, and Martinez, as the suspects of an operation that was allegedly stealing marine electronics from marinas and boat storage facilities in the South Jersey area. The suspects would enter the boat yards and storage facilities after hours and remove the GPS systems from the consoles of multiple vessels. The suspects would then travel back to Miami where they would sell the units for profit.
In January of 2021, arrest warrants were issued for the suspects after troopers linked them to more than 300 thefts of high-end GPS units. On March 1, troopers discovered that Alfonso and Rodriguez were at a motel in the Plymouth, Massachusetts area, where members of the Plymouth Police Department located and arrested them without incident. They were lodged at an area jail and extradited to New Jersey on March 12. Barbosa was arrested by the Miami Police Department on October 1, and Perez was arrested by the Miami-Dade Marine Theft Task Force on October 13. They were lodged at the TGK Correction Center in Miami and extradited to New Jersey on November 1.
Manuel Barbosa Mendiluza, Ciro Perez Martinez, Mizael Alfonso, and Marie Frometa Rodriguez were charged with theft, conspiracy to commit theft/burglary, and burglary.
Detectives from the State Police Special Investigation South Unit, along with members of the New Jersey State Police Port Norris Station, New Jersey State Police Red Lion Station, Coast Guard Investigative Service, Miami-Dade Marine Theft Task Force, Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Monroe Township Police Department, Middle Township Police Department, Hamilton Township Police Department, Millville City Police Department, and Travelers Insurance Company, assisted during the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.
Charges are mere accusations, and the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty.
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