SCRANTON – Acting on a tip, authorities in Lackawanna County set up surveillance of an electronics department store on Viewmont Drive waiting for a burglary to take place late Thursday night.
Several hours passed until three men from New York City were nabbed after stealing $27,000 in iPods and media players from Best Buy at about 2:45 a.m. Friday, state police at Dunmore said.
Police said one of the men, Aleh “Oleg” Maslakou, 18, stayed outside the store acting as a lookout.
Maslakou, Dynkin Yevgeny , 20, and Leonid Vodovozov , 21, were charged with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, possessing instruments of crime, criminal mischief and criminal conspiracy. They were arraigned by District Judge James P. Kennedy in Scranton and jailed at the Lackawanna County Jail for lack of $50,000 bail each.
Authorities said the three men placed pieces of wood with nails near the business that deflated tires of a Scranton police vehicle and a Scranton fire truck.
The three men accessed the store by cutting a two-by-two-foot hole in a metal garage door on the loading dock, authorities said.
Authorities said they found a 14-inch gas powered saw, masks and two-way radios.
According to the criminal complaints:
Best Buy manager Eric McFarland requested Scranton police to increase patrols after spotting three vehicles with New York license plates driving in the rear of the store on Wednesday.
State police received a tip on Thursday that a burglary was to take place at Best Buy.
Authorities with state police and Scranton police set up surveillance near the store at about 10:30 p.m.
Police spotted Maslakou sitting on a curb near Best Buy acting as a lookout and Yevgeny and Vodovozov walking from a vehicle, a 2007 Chrysler Sebring, parked along the shoulder of Interstate 81 adjacent to the store.
Surveillance teams heard motorized tools being used, and observed Yevgeny and Vodovozov crawling and walking repeatedly from the rear of the store to the vehicle, which had its hood up and four way flashers activated, the criminal complaint says.
One of the two men behind the store was observed, according to the criminal complaint, dropping wood with protruding nails on the ground.
Yevgeny and Vodovozov ran from the rear of the store carrying bags to their vehicle before they sped away. Maslakou attempted to run away but was captured by police, the criminal complaint says.
Police said they stopped Yevgeny and Vodovozov and found the stolen iPods and media players in the truck of the vehicle.
A motel in Clarks Summit where the three men were staying was searched on Friday, police said.
Preliminary hearings are tentatively scheduled on April 13.