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Ex-Employee From Bridgeport Charged With Stealing iPhones At Verizon Store

Miguel J. Portela
Miguel J. Portela Photo Credit: Fairfield Police Department

A Fairfield County man was arrested for allegedly stealing several iPhones from his former employee just hours after he fired.

Miguel J. Portela, 40, of Bridgeport, was arrested on Thursday, March 12, after committing the crimes in Fairfield, said Fairfield Chief of police Christopher Lyddy.

The arrest took place after Fairfield police responded to Verizon Wireless on Post Road for a report of larceny by a former employee, Lyddy said.

Officers spoke to a store employee who reported Portela walked into the store around 5:50 p.m., entered the storage room and walked out of the store with several iPhones, Lyddy said.

Portela worked at the Verizon Wireless store in Norwalk and the employee told officers that it was common to have workers take phones from other stores in order to re-stock their own supplies.

A short time after Portela left with the phones, the manager of the Norwalk store notified the employee at the Fairfield store that he had been fired earlier that day and should not be allowed in the building.

In searching the inventory, the employee at the Fairfield store discovered that nine iPhones and one Apple Watch were missing. The items were valued at $7,190.

During an investigation, officers located Portela at his home in Bridgeport and during a search of his vehicle police located an unopened iPhone matching the serial number of one of the phones that had been stolen from the Fairfield store.

In addition, officers found a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 and a Verizon Jetpack mobile hotspot that had been reported stolen from the Norwalk Verizon Wireless.

The other stolen items were not located in the search.

Portela was charged with larceny and burglary and later released on a $1,000 bond.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, March 26.

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