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updated: 4/17/2013 4:26 PM

Palatine arrested in Mt. Prospect cell phone thefts

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Daily Herald report

A Palatine man was charged with felony retail theft after he used his keys as a vendor employee to steal cell phones, Mount Prospect police said.

According to police reports, Ricardo J. Rivera, 30, of the 400 block of North Hicks Road, was an employee with Mosaic, a vendor that sets up displays of new release movies and video games in various Walmart stores. A vendor employee routinely takes a set of keys to unlock display cases.

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Rivera took keys from a cashier at the front of the store at 930 Mount Prospect Plaza about 1:45 a.m. March 25 but used them to open a phone display case in the electronics department, according to a police report. He was seen on a security video taking three cell phones out of the case and hiding them in a bag, then later taking two more, according to reports. The five phones are valued at $3,495. When he left the store, he lifted the bag over his head to avoid activating the security sensors at the door, according to the police report. Police were alerted by the store when Rivera returned March 29 and he was arrested about 1:55 p.m. at the store, reports said.

Rivera reportedly admitted taking the phones and told police that the Mount Prospect Walmart was not on his route, and that he was substituting for an employee who was on vacation, police said. Police recovered four of the phones.

Rivera has been fired by Mosaic and his court date is May 7.

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