Bogus FedEx driver stole $107,738 worth of phones from Verizon, cops say

Romell Funches | CPD; Ebay

Things just got real for Romell Funches, the man who prosecutors in January accused of posing as a FedEx driver to steal cellular phone shipments from a Verizon store in the Loop.

Funches was back in bond court on Sunday to hear prosecutors accuse him of committing 17 more thefts from Verizon using the same ruse — a ruse that allegedly netted him $107,738 worth of stolen phones and accessories.

On January 10, cops arrested Funches after he allegedly dressed as a FedEx employee to steal a phone shipment from Verizon’s store at 205 North Michigan. According to court documents, the pick-up was a trap set by corporate security officials from Verizon and FedEx.

Prosecutors say Funches used to work for FedEx, and he kept uniform parts after he left the company. He was wearing a FedEx uniform jacket, FedEx uniform pants, and a FedEx baseball hat when they arrested him in January.

The state charged him with felony burglary and felony theft last winter. He went home by posting a $500 deposit bond.

But investigators continued to look into a series of similar thefts from three Verizon stores between October 23, 2019, and the day he was arrested in January. Their efforts culminated with the filing of 17 additional felonies Sunday.

The crimes were captured on surveillance video, and Verizon employees identified Funches as the thief, according to prosecutors.

After hearing the state’s allegations, Judge John Lyke told Funches, “you are barred from every Verizon store in the state of Illinois.

After hearing the state’s allegations, Judge John Lyke told Funches, “you are barred from every Verizon store in the state of Illinois.”

The judge then set bail at $107,738 — the value of the merchandise he’s accused of stealing. Funches must post a 10% deposit bond to get out of jail before trial.

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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