MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis house flippers used some high-tech equipment to track down $12,000 worth of stolen materials and help police make an arrest.
Virginia Gonzalez, office manager for MAS Properties, said Wednesday morning they discovered burglars had cleaned out a house in North Memphis they were about to list.
“They took the microwave out of the wall,” said Gonzalez. “It even looked like they might have wanted to steal the cabinets because you could see where they tried to pry them away.”
Gonzalez said the thieves also took an HVAC unit, a water heater, light fixtures, tiles, and rolls of insulation.
“I think they managed to break in through a window, and because the materials were so big, they must have just walked out with them,” she said.
But the crooks didn’t have those materials for very long. Police said thanks to a tracking device, they were able to locate all of the stolen items inside a vacant house about two miles away.
Police said the house on Austin Street also appeared to be undergoing renovations, and there were numerous building supplies inside.
“Maybe the thieves were in the business of flipping houses but using stolen materials,” Gonzalez said.
Police said while they were on the scene, the owner of the house approached them. Davito Ross, 25, was taken into custody and charged with aggravated burglary and theft of property.
MAS Properties didn’t want to go into specifics about where they hid the GPS devices but are relieved they got everything back.
“In Memphis, many times we’ve had thefts,” said Gonzalez. “We just decided to try something different.”
Ross is being held on a $20,000 bond. He is scheduled to go before a judge on Monday.