AirTags lead to Immokalee man’s arrest for stealing CCSO generators

Writer: Matthew Seaver
Rene Garcia
Rene Garcia, 29. (Credit: Collier County Sheriff’s Office)

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has arrested an Immokalee man they say stole generators from license plate reader trailers in the Immokalee area.

Deputies arrested Rene Garcia, 29, on Tuesday night after an investigation into the thefts. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office was already holding Garcia for attempting to flee from a traffic stop for failing to obey a traffic signal that same day. Deputies say Garica also did not have a valid license.

The sheriff’s office says, on August 16, they discovered that two generators were stolen from license plate reader trailers. Both generators were equipped with Apple AirTags.

Deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the recovery of the generators when deputies in Collier County determined at least one of the generators was on Damon Street East in Lehigh Acres.

LCSO deputies contacted the person who had the generator, who told them they had received it from a man they knew as Rene, later identified as Rene Garcia. The man told deputies that Garcia used the generator to help pay down his debt. He told deputies that he did not know it was stolen.

Collier County deputies say the second generator also pinged in Lehigh Acres on Amherst Street. LSCO again assisted and went to the location to find the generator. The property owner said Garcia had dropped off the generator to be repaired and did not know it was stolen. The man also picked Garcia out of a photo lineup.

Garcia is facing charges of dealing in stolen property, larceny-petit theft, and grand theft for the stolen generators. He also faces charges of fleeing law enforcement and resisting arrest without violence for fleeing from Collier County deputies on Tuesday.

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