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DPS: Man charged with stealing $90,000 in phones from Walmart

KNXV Lewis Martinez.jpeg
KNXV Lewis Martinez Cash
Posted at 3:56 PM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 18:56:52-04

PHOENIX — A DPS task force targeting professional criminals arrested a man in Phoenix earlier this month on nearly 40 felony counts.

Troopers first started looking into 28-year-old Lewis Martinez when an Arizona ID card was found inside a vehicle during a traffic stop in early May. He was subsequently connected to vehicle burglaries and store thefts, primarily of electronics. DPS says Martinez stole an estimated $90,000 worth of Apple and Samsung phones from Walmart stores and made plans to sell them overseas.

Martinez was located July 9 near 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road and apprehended a short time later, DPS said in a news release.

Col. Frank Milstead said in a statement friends and relatives helped Martinez evade his initial apprehension.

Martinez was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on 11 counts of trafficking in stolen property, twelve counts of retail theft and six counts of burglary, among other charges.

Online state records show Martinez was previously convicted and sentenced on charges of retail theft and aggravated assault, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections.