Loop: Former FedEx driver charged in cellphone theft scheme

Romell Funches | CPD

Over the years, we’ve reported on all kinds of phone theft schemers and scammers. But this is a first.

A former FedEx driver is charged with two felonies after he allegedly dressed up in old uniform parts to accept cellphone shipments from a wireless store in the Loop.

Corporate security offices at Verizon and FedEx collaborated on a sting operation that resulted in the arrest of 36-year-old Romell Funches on Jan. 10.

Prosecutors say Funches dressed up in a FedEx uniform to accept two parcels from the Verizon store at 205 North Michigan. The boxes contained various iPhones along with chargers and Samsung earbuds, according to court records.

Verizon security agents immediately detained Funches for police after he accepted the shipments. Arresting officers said they recovered a FedEx uniform jacket, FedEx uniform pants, and a FedEx baseball hat from Funches.

The arrest was the culmination of an on-going investigation by the two companies, police said.

Funches is charged with felony burglary and felony theft. Judge David Navarro set bail at $5,000. Funches posted a $500 deposit bond to go free while awaiting trial.

According to Funches’ LinkedIn profile, the Richton Park resident works as a delivery driver for Amazon.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com