Hawthorne man charged with multiple vehicle thefts from local hotels, dealing in stolen property, and operating a "chop shop"
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HAWTHORNE, Fla. – Humberto Toledo-Russias, 34, was arrested yesterday following an investigation into multiple vehicle thefts from local hotels; a search of the property where he lived reportedly produced a large number of vehicles in various states of disassembly, vehicle parts, and vehicle documents/titles.

On April 19, 2022, a man parked his orange 2018 Jeep Wrangler, valued at about $39,000, in the parking lot of the Residence Inn by Marriott at 3275 SW 40th Boulevard in Gainesville and reported that it was gone the next morning. The Wrangler was picked up by a license plate reader shortly after the theft, and it was reportedly followed by another Jeep Wrangler with a dealer tag registered to Toledo Motorsports, Inc., a company registered in Miami by Elvira Leon and Gisel Soto and operated by Toledo-Russias, his grandmother, and his girlfriend Soto. The second Wrangler, with the dealer tag, was found stripped and abandoned in Hawthorne on September 4, 2022.

On September 2, 2022, a man parked his black 2020 Ford F150 Raptor, valued at about $75,000, at Homewood Suites at 3333 SW 42nd Street in Gainesville and reported that it was gone the next morning. The pickup also contained a Traeger Ranger pellet grill.

On March 11, 2023, a woman parked her black 2020 Jeep Wrangler, valued at about $40,000, at the Red Roof Plus hotel at 3500 SW 42nd Street in Gainesville and reported that it was gone the next morning. Surveillance video reportedly showed a white Ford “Platinum” edition pickup truck parking directly next to the Wrangler, and about four minutes later, both vehicles left together.

On March 29, 2023, a Gainesville Police Department (GPD) Detective drove to Toledo-Russias’ address in Hawthorne, and he was able to see a “large number of new model Jeep and Dodge vehicles” from the roadway. The detective reportedly saw Toledo-Russias drive a forklift off the property and load a vehicle motor onto a semi truck. The detective obtained a search warrant for the property on the evening of March 29, and it was executed by both GPD and Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ASO) personnel just after midnight on March 30 (more information with photos and a video here).

The ASO SWAT team tactically secured the property and detained Toledo-Russias and Soto. The Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) on the vehicles and parts found on the property matched several vehicles that had been reported stolen, including a white 2021 Jeep Gladiator “392” stolen out of Alachua County, a gray 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat stolen out of Broward County, and a black 2020 Jeep Gladiator stolen out of Seminole County.

A number of orange Jeep Wrangler parts were found, and a windshield still had a parking sticker from a complex in St. Augustine that the owner of the Wrangler stolen in April 2022 identified as his, providing a photo of the vehicle with the same sticker.

The stripped-down chassis of the F150 Raptor stolen in September 2022 was found on the property, in addition to multiple Raptor parts. The Traeger Ranger pellet grill was also reportedly found on the back porch of the residence.

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler that was stolen earlier in March was not found at the property, but multiple parts belonging to a black Jeep Wrangler were found. One part was a center console that still contained various personal effects, including a small pearl earring, which the owner of the Jeep identified as hers. A Wrangler door was also found in the garage, and a small umbrella was still in the door pocket; the owner of the Jeep identified it as her umbrella.

The owner of a white Ford F-250 “Platinum” edition that was found at the property could not be determined because the VIN had been tampered with.

Post Miranda, Soto was reportedly asked about blank Jeep key fobs that were mailed to her name, but she said she didn’t know anything about the activities on the property, although she had lived there for about a year and had been dating Toledo-Russias for about seven years. She reportedly did not provide any pertinent information and was not arrested because she is 36 weeks pregnant and has a 7-year-old son.

Post Miranda, Toledo-Russias declined to speak with detectives and requested an attorney.

Toledo-Russias has been charged with six counts of grand theft over $20,000, operating a “chop shop,” and dealing in stolen property. He has seven felony convictions (two violent); Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at $1.35 million.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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