Suspect in Heartless Felons cellphone theft ring turns himself in

Melvin SwinneyCuyahoga County Sheriff's Department  CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Cleveland man charged along with seven others with stealing thousands of dollars in equipment from cellphone stores in nine states turned himself in this week, the FBI...

Suspect in Heartless Felons cellphone theft ring turns himself in

Melvin SwinneyCuyahoga County Sheriff's Department 

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A Cleveland man charged along with seven others with stealing thousands of dollars in equipment from cellphone stores in nine states turned himself in this week, the FBI said Friday.

Melvin Swinney, 21, surrendered to authorities on Tuesday, according to court records. He is being held by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Swinney is charged with breaking into stores after hours to steal phones, tablets and other electronics. The crew, which was given assignments on what stores to target, would use a crowbar to break into storage spaces or kiosks, according to the FBI.

The stolen electronics were taken back to Cleveland and sold to gas stations or cellphone stores that, in turn, sold them to buyers out of state or overseas, according to a criminal complaint. The group caused $500,000 in damage by carrying out at least 18 thefts, the FBI says.

Agents say the members are associated with a subset of the Heartless Felons gang.

Charges were filed Feb. 15. The rest of the defendants were either arrested last week or were being held in other criminal cases.

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