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Palm Coast Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021 9 months ago

Four arrested at Target for organized retail theft scheme

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All four suspects have lengthy criminal histories.
by: Melissa Morreale Public Affairs Officer, Flagler County Sheriff's Office

Flagler County Sheriff's office deputies have arrested four people for an organized retail theft scheme targeting the Palm Coast Target.

“These career offenders thought they could get away with stealing, but they actually just received some new accommodations for Christmas,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “With our partnership with Target Loss Prevention, I’m glad we were able to put an end to their holiday stealing spree. Hopefully they’ll stay behind bars where they belong for the holidays. Seems they have all had plenty of chances to learn their lesson, but instead continued down the path of being a career criminals. This time they chose to break the law in the wrong County.”

Deputies responded to a call at Target Dec. 22 about a possible shoplifting. It was the eighth call for shoplifting and suspicious incidents at Target that deputies had responded to in one week.

When they arrived, deputies were told that the suspects may have also been part of previous shoplifting incidents based on video footage of the “getaway” vehicle.

The suspects were all believed to be involved in an organized retail theft operation.

Loss prevention officers told deputies about a male who tried to steal appliances from the store.

Loss prevention officers tried to stop the male and saw him get into a Honda Accord, believed to be the same vehicle matching the description in previous shoplifting incidents.

Target Loss Prevention told the FCSO that they believed several of the vehicle’s occupants were involved in previous cases from the Palm Coast and Sanford Target stores.

Deputies made contact with the driver of the suspect vehicle, 41-year-old Teddy Cooper, who agreed to speak with deputies and allow a search of the vehicle.

Deputies found a pipe, several small baggies with a brown powder substance, a while rock-like substance, and a white powdery substance.

In total, deputies recovered 2.75 grams of Fentanyl, 3.09 grams cocaine, and 0.87 grams of heroin in the vehicle.

Deputies also recovered a glass pipe with narcotic residue that tested positive for cocaine, which was found where 30-year-old passenger Dominique Fuller was sitting in the car's rear seat. 

Based on Target’s internal investigation, surveillance also showed the same individual, 61-year-old David Bumgardner, committing retail theft on Sept. 13 for $377 and on Dec. 17 for $569 as the subject was seen exiting the store with items.

Deputies were able to confirm that Bumgardner was the subject on Sept. 13 and Dec. 17; he was all seen in video footage returning a box of Legos for $53 without a receipt and receiving a gift card, which is when law enforcement was contacted.

One Target theft incident resulted in $1,300 of Legos being stolen, and the fraudulently returned item is believed to be part of that theft.

Cooper's vehicle was positively identified in multiple retail theft incidents at Target stores in Central Florida as the “get-away” vehicle for Bumgardner, and was also used as the “get-away” vehicle when the $1,300 of Legos were stolen.

There was a total loss of $1,258 for the three incidents at the Palm Coast Target.

Cooper is no stranger to law enforcement. He has 32 previous felony arrests for Grand Theft, Assault, Possession and Sale of Cocaine, Loitering and Prowling, Driving While License Suspended/Revoked, Prostitution, Weapons Offense (Deliver/Possess/Sell Altered Firearm), Possession of Marijuana, Principal Trafficking in Oxycodone, Grand Retail Theft, and Tampering with Evidence.

Bumgardner is a Registered Sex Offender. He’s previously been arrested for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender by the Daytona Beach Police Department and Trespassing. Additionally, he’s been arrested in Louisiana and California for Simple Burglary, Simple Arson, Criminal Mischief, Distribution of Quaaludes, Carrying a Dangerous Weapon, Providing False IS to Law Enforcement, Causing Fire of Property, Petit Theft, Burglary, Indecent Exposure, and Disorderly Conduct. 

Another participant, John Firethunder, is currently out of jail on bond from Seminole County for Retail Theft. He’s been previously arrested for Fraud/Swindle, Loitering, Retail Theft, Possession of Cocaine, Destroying Evidence, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Trespassing, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Felony Petit Theft, Resist Officer without Violence, False Name Given to Law Enforcement Upon Arrest, Driving While License Suspended/Revoked. Additionally, he’s been charged out of state for DUI, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession with Intent to Sell/Deliver Marijuana, Robbery with Dangerous Weapon, First Degree Arson, Larceny, Possession of Stolen Goods/Property, Assault, and Shoplifting.

Fuller has previously been arrested for Possession of Marijuana, Resisting Officer without Violence, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Battery, and Trespassing.

All four suspects were arrested and transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility.

Cooper was arrested for Possession of Fentanyl, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Heroin, Dealing in Stolen Property, Organized Retail Theft, and Shoplifting.

Bumgardner was arrested for Dealing in Stolen Property and Resisting Officer without Violence. 

Firethunder was arrested for Organized Retail Theft, Petit Theft 3rd Degree, and Resist Recovery of Stolen Property. 

Fuller was arrested for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

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