Authorities in southeast Iowa say charges are pending against a number of people who are accused of stealing items from retail stores and then selling the items on eBay and to area pawn shops. Ottumwa Police Chief Jim Clark says the investigation the major theft and fencing organization was operating out of Ottumwa.
Preliminary estimates indicate the organization brought in nearly $1 million from identified eBay accounts and other Internet auction sites over a multi-year period. As the result of the investigation, search warrants were conducted at several locations in southeast Iowa including the William Allen and Gretchen Bacon Starr residence in Kirkville, the Mathew Slye and Mary Shafer residence in Oskaloosa, The Osky Music and Pawn shop in Oskaloosa and the Ft. Madison Music and Pawn Shop in Ft. Madison.
Officers seized several vehicles used in the operation, a large amount of property believed to be stolen, cash and frozen bank accounts.