Volusia County Sheriff's investigator nabbed two people in a sting to track down a stolen X-ray machine, valued at approximately $30,000. The plot to sell the machine over the Internet was foiled when investigators went undercover, posing as interested buyers.
The panoramic dental X-ray machine was reported stolen from Summer Smiles Family Dental in Deltona had been reported stolen last month It was later spotted for sale on the websites Craigslist and eBay by the owner who notified authorities.
The victim was in the process of moving the dental practice to a new location, but had left the X-ray machine behind because it was too large and delicate and required special handling.
There were several ads placed, including one that set the asking price at $20,000. The victim obtained the contact information for the seller, who Sheriff's investigators later learned was 25-year-old Matthew Pare.
Sheriff's investigators set the sting in motion and contacted Pare to make arrangements to see the X-ray machine. On Wednesday afternoon, Pare sent the undercover investigators to a house on Windbrook Drive in Deltona. The X-ray machine was there, and so were Pare and another man, 26-year-old Matthew Simmons.
After checking the serial number to confirm that it was the stolen unit, the undercover agents signaled to additional Sheriff's investigators who were staged nearby to move in for the arrest.
"His story was that he (Pare) thought that the X-ray unit was abandoned property, and therefore, his for the taking," said Gary Davidson with Volusia County Sheriff's Office. "I mean, seriously, who leaves you know a $30,000 high-tech piece of equipment behind for the cleaning crew to take home? No one's buying that story!"
Both Pare and Simmons were then taken into custody, charged with grand theft and dealing in stolen property and transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.