Man stole $20K worth of textbooks from UCF bookstore, resold them, cops say

An employee stole textbooks from a University of Central Florida bookstore, then resold them for profit, police said. Jose Roberto Alonzo, 39, faces charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property. For 14 months, Alonzo took books from...

Man stole $20K worth of textbooks from UCF bookstore, resold them, cops say

An employee stole textbooks from a University of Central Florida bookstore, then resold them for profit, police said. 

Jose Roberto Alonzo, 39, faces charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property. 

For 14 months, Alonzo took books from Barnes & Noble at the university’s John T. Washington Center and brought them to other bookstores near campus to sell, the UCF Police Department said. 

In total, he took more than $20,000 worth of textbooks, police said. 

The scheme was uncovered Feb. 2 when College Book and Supply store on Collegiate Way noticed Alonzo coming in often, sometimes selling two or three copies of the same textbook, an arrest affidavit said. 

An employee sent an email to the UCF bookstore and included a full list of books Alonzo had sold to them, along with security surveillance footage showing him entering the store, records show. 

Alonzo was pulled aside when he got into work that day and confessed to the plot, records show.

He told police he had started stealing books in 2009 by hiding them in his shirt, an arrest affidavit said. 

In January 2016, when the store was busy because the new semester was starting, Alonzo began stealing books again, an arrest affidavit said. 

Surveillance footage showed he would carefully exit the store by going around the book detectors near doors, records show. 

That’s when Alonzo started selling books to College Book and Supply store and Textbook Solutions, which is on Strategy Boulevard, an arrest affidavit said. 

Records from both stores showed he sold books worth a total of $20,952, police said. 

chayes@orlandosentinel.com, 407-420-5493 or Twitter: @journo_christal

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