MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Authorities in Middle Tennessee have arrested a man wanted for stealing handheld scanners in several states.
According to the Murfreesboro Police Department, 34-year-old Anthony Canales of Brooklyn, New York, was arrested by Nashville International Airport Police on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
Murfreesboro detectives gave a surveillance photo to BNA police, who confirmed Canales had been in the airport, as well as his flight schedule and rental car company. He was taken into custody with help from Murfreesboro and Hendersonville police officers after returning the rental car.
“We had a lot of irons in the fire. We were reaching out to a lot of different places,” Murfreesboro Police Detective Ray Worden said.
Murfreesboro Police said detectives identified Canales as a suspect in connection with a theft of $14,000 worth of handheld scanners from Kroger on Old Fort Parkway on Sunday, Nov. 27. A similar theft was committed at Lowes Home Improvement, also on Old Fort Parkway.
Further investigation revealed Canales may have been committing these type of crimes throughout the country over the last year and a half, having been investigated by Homeland Security Field Offices in Florida, Cincinnati, and Georgia, according to police.
According to Worden, the man seemed to always be wearing “a white flannel over jacket,” which was listed in a lot of the reports and allowed law enforcement to track him committing these thefts in different parts of the country.
Officers across Middle Tennessee confiscated over 100 handheld scanners that were about to be shipped to Kissimmee, Florida, via UPS, and two scanners from Canales’ carry-on luggage. Since July, the loss to retailers is estimated to be over $500,000, according to officials.
Authorities believe Canales would commit the crimes by flying into cities and then renting a vehicle. He would then stay for three to four days and steal handheld scanners from major retailers like Kroger, Lowes, and Target. In Middle Tennessee, he is suspected of stealing scanners in Murfreesboro, Hendersonville, Nashville, and Mt. Juliet.
“He would go into employee restricted areas, places where he knew he had no business being, and select these things from their charging docks and place them in either a bag or some other type of container, and walk out the store with them,” Worden explained.
The Murfreesboro Police Department obtained arrest warrants charging Canales with one count of theft over $10,000 and one count of theft over $1,000, while the Hendersonville Police Department has a warrant charging him with burglary and theft over $2,500.
Police said Canales was taken to the Sumner County Jail where he is being held without bond. A hold has been placed on him to be brought to the Rutherford County Jail for active warrants in Murfreesboro upon his release.
Additional charges are pending, according to authorities.
Any other retailers who believe they’ve had handheld scanners stolen from them are asked to call Murfreesboro Police Detective Worden at 629-201-5637.