By KATIE ANDERSON firstname.lastname@example.org
A man who told a judge he makes his living off eBay had his vocation cut short this week after he tried to sell a stolen cell phone testing device on the Internet auction site, authorities said.
East Dundee police say the equipment was taken during a vehicle burglary last month in the village.
Brian C. Russell, 26, of Chicago, was charged with two counts of felony theft. He is accused of trying to hawk a Measurement Receiver Cellular Tester on eBay.com when he knew the device was stolen, police said. The machine is used to measure the signal strength of cell phones, according to police. The expensive measurement receiver Russell allegedly posted for sale was reported stolen on Valentine's Day weekend from a Cricket Communications wireless phone carrier vehicle.
Police began an investigation of Russell after an employee with Cricket Communications spotted a measurement receiver for sale on eBay that had the same serial number as the stolen equipment, police said.
The signal measuring device reportedly is worth about $35,000 but was listed for sale by Brian Russell Inc. at $17,500, police said. The eBay post also included photos and other identifying information that led police and Cricket Communications to believe that the item for sale was the missing equipment, police said.
Police set up an undercover operation, and an officer posed as a potential buyer. The officer arranged to meet Russell to inspect and test the equipment in person and, when Russell showed up with the stolen receiver, he was arrested, police said.
Although Russell has been charged with two counts of theft, police are still investigating whether he is the person who actually removed the equipment from the Cricket Communications vehicle in February, East Dundee Police Chief Terry Mee said. The theft charges against Russell stem from authorities' belief that Russell knew he was selling stolen goods, Mee said.
Russell's bail was set at $15,000 in Elgin bond court on Monday.
When the judge asked Russell what the 26-year-old did for a living, Russell replied, "I sell stuff on eBay."
"You sell stuff on eBay and you have been arrested for that -- an interesting coincidence," Judge Bruce Lester replied.
Each felony charge Russell faces carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison plus fines. He is to appear in court March 31.
kinda pisses me off how these people are using Ebay / craigslist to sell stolen stuff or Rob people. Technology being used against us..