Fairfield Police Arrest and Charge Former Verizon Wireless Employee with Stealing iPhones from Store

FAIRFIELD — Chief Christopher Lyddy reports that the Fairfield Police Department arrested and charged a man who stole several cell phones and electronic devices from his former employer.

MIGUEL J. PORTELA, AGE 40, OF BRIDGEPORT was charged with:

  • Larceny (3rd Degree)
  • Burglary (3rd Degree)

At approximately 7:20 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, Fairfield Police responded to Verizon Wireless, 3449 Post Road, for a report of a larceny by a former employee, later identified as PORTELA.

Officers spoke to a store employee who reported that PORTELA had walked into the store around 5:50 p.m., entered the storage room and walked out of the store with several iPhones. PORTELA worked at the Verizon Wireless store in Norwalk and the employee told officers that it was common to have workers take phones from other stores in order to re-stock their own supplies.

A short time after PORTELA left with the phones, the manager of the Norwalk store notified the employee at the Fairfield store that PORTELA had been fired earlier that day and should not be allowed in the building.

In searching the inventory, the employee at the Fairfield store discovered that nine iPhones and one Apple Watch were missing. The items were valued at $7,190.

Through the subsequent investigation, Fairfield Police located PORTELA at his home on Jones Avenue in Bridgeport that evening. PORTELA allowed the officers to search his vehicle and police located and seized an unopened iPhone matching the serial number of one of the phones that had been stolen from the Fairfield store. In addition, officers located a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 and a Verizon Jetpack mobile hotspot that had been reported stolen from the Norwalk Verizon Wireless. The other stolen items were not located in the search.

PORTELA was placed under arrest and was later released on $1,000 bond. He is expected to be arraigned on March 26 at Bridgeport Superior Court.

These are allegations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.