PortMiami Security Officers Stole Passengers' iPads, Sold Them on Craigslist: Police

Jean Russell Thomas, 30, and Sherece Nelson, 25, both charged with dealing in stolen property

Friday, Sep 13, 2013  |  Updated 11:40 AM EDT
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Miami-Dade Police

Jean Thomas and Sherece Nelson

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A pair of PortMiami security guards are facing charges after police say they stole electronics from cruise ship passengers and sold them on Craigslist.

Jean Russell Thomas, 30, and Sherece Nelson, 25, are both charged with dealing in stolen property after they were arrested in an undercover operation, Miami-Dade Police said Thursday.

Thomas, who also is charged with two counts of grand theft, was being held Friday on $12,500 bond, jail records showed. It was unknown whether they have attorneys.


According to arrest affidavits from the Miami-Dade Police's Seaport Operations Bureau, Thomas and Nelson, both of Opa-locka, were McRoberts Maritime Security officers at the port.

Calls to McRoberts for comment weren't immediately returned Friday.

On Sept. 2, a passenger who was departing on the Carnival Victory and had checked in her bags for departure didn't receive them in her room, the report said. When she finally did receive her bags and unpacked, she discovered her iPad was missing and notified police.

Thomas, who was working as an X-ray screener, was seen on security video working the day the passenger's iPad was stolen, the report said. The video showed Thomas handling a bag that had been removed from the belt, the report said.


"The defendant is then observed standing up and adjusting an item in which he had placed into his pants (rear) underneath his shirt and then placing the bag back onto the belt where it would be transferred to the ship," the report said.

When police searched Craigslist, they found Thomas had listed two iPads for sale on Sept. 5, and the description of the iPads matched ones stolen from passengers, the report said.

Undercover officers called Thomas and arranged to buy one of the iPads from him for $450 on Wednesday. Thomas showed up along with Nelson, who acted as a look out, the report said.

They were both arrested at the meeting point. Police also said they found an iPod touch in Nelson's car that had been reported stolen from a PortMiami passenger in February.

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