PD: Man wanted for $45,000 wine theft, found in federal prison in California

Posted at 12:35 PM, Jul 30, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — A man wanted for a $45,000 wine theft in Scottsdale was found in a federal prison in California.

Court records show that Joseph Eric Hill, 52, was charged last week for theft, forgery, and identity theft after wine was stolen from Phoenix Wine in Scottsdale.

Police say Hill ordered 51 bottles of wine and liquor and paid for the order with a stolen credit card. When he came to store, near Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard, he allegedly provided credit card information and identification from an identity theft victim from California.

After helping to load the wine bottles into his car, a store assistant took a photo of Hill.

Later "Phoenix Wine received a charge back for $45,339 for this transaction," according to court records.

The assistant tracked the phone number used by Hill to call the store and traced it back to Hill's Facebook profile page. Police say Hill's photo matched the picture taken by the store assistant. Police confirmed that the man attached to the credit card was an identity theft victim.

Hill was found in a federal prison in Victorville, California, outside of Los Angeles. He is being held on federal fraud charges after a U.S. Secret Service investigation.

Court records show that Hill has spent over 17 years in California prisons since 1990 on nine different arrests for theft, drug violations, and possession of an explosive device.