PARK HILLS, Ky. -- The unusual string of crimes that landed two New Jersey men in Kenton County Jail Monday night could be part of a much larger criminal operation, Lt. Richard Webster said.
Police in three Northern Kentucky cities believe Adonis Hernandez, 24, and Jose Fabian Rodriguez, 59, used gift cards and fake names to order a number of cell phones online. The phones were then delivered to Covington and Park Hills homes the men believed were empty, Webster said.
Once the phones arrived, the pair would drive from New Jersey to Northern Kentucky to steal them off the homes' doorsteps.
However, one of the homes the men used wasn't actually vacant, Webster said. The person who lived there called police after recording one of them taking a package off her doorstep and driving away.
An officer later spotted the same car outside a vacant home and approached the men.
"When (the officer) starts talking to them, he starts noticing there are phones throughout the vehicle," Webster said.
That stoked the officer's suspicion enough to detain them, he added. By Monday night, they stood charged with seven felonies and possession of a stolen credit card.
"We're still processing this," Webster said, admitting he wasn't sure what the goal of the odd package thefts might be. "It's probably a much larger group than just these two doing it."