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Officers bust two rings of cell phone bandits

Arrested in connection with these crimes was Justin Profit, 18 years of age and Joseph Neal Cardenas, 24 years of age, both of Las Vegas
Arrested in connection with these crimes was Justin Profit, 18 years of age and Joseph Neal Cardenas, 24 years of age, both of Las Vegas
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Updated: 9/06/2012 11:14 am
LAS VEGAS -- Officers with to the Las Vegs Metro Enterprise Area Command’s “Problem Solving Unit” have arrested two men responsible for more than 20 instances of the theft of “smart phones” and other similar devices from unsuspecting and unwary victims.

What began as a simple follow-up investigation into the reported theft of a cell phone led officers to discover two separate groups of individuals operating in the Southwest part of the valley.

The suspects were primarily young male adults, although one female has been identified as part of one of the groups.

Before committing their crimes they would look for individuals who appear to be distracted or inattentive to their surroundings. After identifying the potential victim they run by the individual, grab the phone, and flee on foot to a vehicle waiting nearby. In some instances the victims were talking or texting on the phone at the time that it was stolen.

The suspects stole primarily the latest generation Apple “smart phones” although in a few instances the larger tablet style devices were taken.

Metro arrested Justin Profit, 18, and Joseph Neal Cardenas, 24, both of Las Vegas. Both have been booked into the Clark County Detention Center.

Profit was booked and charged with:
  • Burglary, three counts
  • Conspiracy to commit burglary, three counts
  • Larceny from a person, four counts
  • Conspiracy to commit larceny from a person, three counts
  • Grand larceny
  • Conspiracy to commit grand larceny
  • Robbery
  • Conspiracy to commit robbery.
Cardenas was booked on the charges of:
  • Larceny from person, eight counts
  • Burglary. three counts
  • Grand larceny, two counts
  • Attempted grand larceny
  • Conspiracy to commit larceny from a person, five counts
  • Conspiracy to commit burglary, three counts
  • Conspiracy to commit grand larceny, two counts.
Although arrested as an outgrowth of the same investigation, Profit and Cardenas were part of two different rings committing these crimes. The investigation into these cases, as well as the investigation into individuals who may have been knowingly purchasing stolen cell phones, remains ongoing.
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