New Yorkers charged with following victims from Apple Store and taking products from vehicles

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Delaware State Police Cpl. Chris Garcia pulls over a car Thursday on Del. 1 in Kent County after a DSP spotter saw the driver talking on his cellphone without a hands-free device.

Delaware State Police arrested Cesar Alzate-Valencia, 37, of Elmhurst, NY, and Lina Martinez-Aristizabal, 31, of Corona, NY, for multiple Apple product thefts from vehicles parked in New Castle County.

Earlier this year, troopers investigated thefts from vehicles at various locations throughout New Castle County in January and February.In each case, victims had just purchased Apple electronic products from the Apple store at Christiana Mall. The Apple store is one of the busiest in the nation, due to the state having no sales tax. Purchases runnning into the thousands of dollars are commonplace.

The victims were then followed as they drove from the Christiana Mall to their next destination. Once the victims’ vehicle became unoccupied a suspect would gain access into the victims’ vehicle by using a pry bar-like tool to shatter one of the vehicle’s windows. The suspect would then steal the Apple products and fled in a different suspect vehicle for each incident.

Troop 2 Criminal Investigations detectives identified one of the suspect vehicles as a 2010 black Nissan Rogue with Mississippi registration.

 On April 1, detectives were notified the Nissan was parked at the Christiana Mall and conducted a traffic stop. Troopers identified the occupants as Cesar Alzate-Valencia, and the passenger Lina Martinez-Aristizabal. Detectives determined that Alzate-Valencia was the male suspect involved in all three theft incidents, and Martinez-Aristizabal as female suspect tied to the theft on Feb. 26.

Both were taken into custody without incident and transported to Troop 2, where they were charged with multiple crimes.

Alzate-Valencia was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Court 11, and taken to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution lacking $16,500 secured bond. The same happened with Martinez-Aristizabal who was taken to Delores J. Baylor Correctional Institution lacking a $7,500 secured bond.