POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Four people were arrested and charged with racketeering for an organized scheme to steal and resell appliances and building materials from construction sites.
On June 20, 2023, the Office of the State Attorney Tenth Judicial Circuit filed racketeering charges against four suspects who the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested for conspiring together to steal new appliances, cabinetry, and other construction materials from construction sites around Polk County and then sell them to a crooked contractor.
The suspects committed 14 confirmed burglaries depriving victims of approximately $40,000.
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The investigation began after detectives responded to a burglary that occurred at a house under construction in Auburndale. New cabinets had been stolen from the construction site. A witness saw two men putting items into a U-Haul van before driving away.
During the course of the investigation detectives linked numerous thefts at construction sites across Polk County and identified four suspects involved in a criminal racketeering enterprise:
Haines City Police officers arrested Albertson and Anderson during a traffic stop. Albertson was driving a U-Haul van containing stainless steel appliances. Albertson told officers that he and Anderson stole the appliances from a house under construction in Poinciana. Albertson also said that he was instructed by his uncle, Alberto Petrecca, to steal the appliances at the request of a buyer.
The same day, PCSO detectives executed two search warrants; one at Petrecca’s house (710 Roby Ct.) in Dundee and one at Petrecca’s storage unit in Haines City where they recovered appliances, air handlers and ducting, plywood, and lumber that had been stolen from various construction sites in Polk County. Detectives also seized 89.48 grams of cocaine, 227.92 grams of marijuana, 18 Hydrocodone pills, 53 Ecstasy pills, 10 handguns and a rifle from Petrecca’s house. Petrecca admitted to selling drugs from his house for the last three years.
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When asked about the stolen appliances, Petrecca told detectives he “didn’t ask or care” how Albertson and Anderson acquired them and suspected they might have been stolen.
He also told detectives that his buyer was Benjamin Adams, the owner of BA Investment Team, LLC and BA Property Team, house remolding and real estate companies. PCSO detectives executed search warrants at two properties owned by Adams where they recovered several stolen appliances.
Adams told detectives he bought the new appliances from Petrecca at “scratch and dent” prices. He said he was not sure how Petrecca was able to sell the items so cheap, however he believed Petrecca may have been using some sort of stolen credit card or fraud to obtain the appliances.
“When thieves steal from construction sites it affects us all—hard working men and women in construction, home buyers, and consumers. I am proud of my detectives for stopping this criminal organization and recovering tens of thousands of dollars in stolen items. But we also need the help of those in the construction industry. Securing materials, locking everything up before leaving a site for the day, and reporting suspicious activity is important to prevent construction site theft,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
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