100-plus items, suspected stolen, found in home

By SALVADOR HERNANDEZ
11/07/2011 11:11 AM

COSTA MESA – Dozens of cellphones, computers, GPS units and other electronic devices suspected of being stolen were found in a home where authorities said the loot was handed off to be sold at a nearby swap meet.

Four people were arrested and accused in what police officials described as an organized “fencing” operation, where electronic devices were stolen and then sold to a middleman who then sold the items to people with no knowledge that they were stolen.

According to the Newport Beach Police Department, the investigating agency, more than 100 cellphones, 20 laptops, 20 iPods and 20 navigation systems were recovered when investigators served a search warrant on Saturday at a house in the 1000 block of Valencia Street in Costa Mesa.

The property would have eventually made its way to be sold at the Orange Coast College Swap Meet, according to a statement released by the department.

Investigators are still trying to sort through all of the electronic items that were recovered during the search, said Kathy Lowe, spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department.

Police took four men into custody: Alfredo Alba Flores, 46; Dorian Alva Flores, 22; Dante Alva Flores, 21; and Edgardo Alva Flores, 19. All four are residents of Costa Mesa.

The four men, who police say intended to hande over the items to the middleman, were booked on suspicion of possession of stolen property and were being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Contact the writer: shernandez@ocregister.com or 949-454-7361