By Samantha Joseph
MARTIN COUNTY - Two men from a town about 140 miles away are in the Martin County Jail after a heist to steal $3,000 worth of scientific calculators and other electronics went awry.
According to arrest reports Jeffery Franklin Kallas, 48, and 42-year-old Felix Francis Federowecz both live at 440 Ocoee Apopka Road in Ocoee, a town in the Orlando-Kissimmee metropolitan area, nearly three hours outside of Stuart.
But police sources said they attempted to make off with thousands in merchandise from the area.
Officials said the men had a third partner, Frank Ryan Sheffield, 38, of Winter Garden, just west of Orlando in Orange County.
Police arrested all three men on charges of grand theft. Mr. Kallas faces an additional charge of resisting an officer without violence.
"The suspects allegedly entered the store with their own Wal-Mart bags and began to fill them with movie DVDs," Sgt. Martin J. Jacobson, spokesman for the Stuart Police Department, said in a statement.
"They proceeded to put scientific calculators in boxes originally containing desk lamps. The suspects passed their transaction off at the register as desk lamps valued at $11 each, but the contents contained $3,000 in calculators."
Arresting Officer Phil Lagalo reported the men made off with just less than $1,500 in merchandise from the local store, but officers found evidence that the Stuart spree was not their only heist.
In the getaway car was another box also containing about $1,500 worth of goods.
Police said one man removed the lamps from the box while in the store and replaced the contents before returning it to the shelf.
While another acted as the lookout, an accomplice retrieved the box and then went to the checkout to purchase what store staff assumed to be a lamp. The men then left the store via separate exits, with one headed for the getaway car and another making it to a gas station a block away before his arrest.
"The suspects fled the store in three different directions, but were apprehended by three separate Stuart officers responding to the scene," Sgt. Jacobson said.