‘High tech’ detective helps corral scammers

By Richard Yager….

Det. Gerardo Trujillo (left) receives a commendation as Kendall District Officer of the Month from Maj. Edward O’Donnell.

Technology, teamwork and a familiar saying brought a Miami-Dade Police Kendall District detective a special commendation during a Sept. 28 Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting.

The saying: “Be careful of your friends. They can make you or break you…” as quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley (Ensign, May 2004, pgs. 113-114).

The technology: Det. Gerardo Trujillo’s diligence in successfully obtaining subpoenas for cellular phone content searches for a suspect after following a social media network tip that disclosed certain identities.

On June 20, Det. Trujillo spoke with the victim of a grand theft who said “an old high school friend” had previously dropped by with a female, identified as the friend’s “cousin.” While the high school pals visited, the female excused herself to use the bath.

The threesome later left the house by car to eat out at “several locations” but after being dropped back at the residence, the complainant said his mother missed several pieces of jewelry and other items, as well.

Learning a similar incident occurred in Midwest District one week earlier, Det. Trujillo was able to identify the high school “friend” and piece together the scam to distract the victim while the friend’s female “cousin” unlocked a door to allow her boyfriend to enter the residence, once the unsuspecting homeowner rode away to visit eating places.

With that knowledge as well as identities obtained from the subpoenaed cell phones, Det. Trujillo, along with Midwest District investigators, on Aug. 16 apprehended the three suspects, all of whom later confessed to the scam operation.

“Tracking down leads, locating the subjects and interviewing those subjects was a direct reflection of your work ethic and investigative skills,” said Maj. Edward O’Donnell and Barry White, chair of the Kendall District Citizen Advisory Committee, naming Det. Trujillo as “Officer of the Month” for August 2011.

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