Police: Man finds his stolen GPS device on eBay

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MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) – A would-be customer, shopping on eBay for a new GPS for his car, found one that fit the bill a little too perfectly: It’s the one that was stolen from him.

Danial Rangkar, 25, of Great Neck, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday on a charge of criminal possession of stolen property after allegedly trying to sell not only the victim’s stolen GPS device, but dozens of other electronic items including laptop computers, digital cameras, iPods, cellphones and other hand-held communications devices.

He was ordered held on $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash bail and told to surrender his passport, said a spokesman for the Nassau County district attorney’s office. His attorney did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

The victim, who was not identified, said his particular GPS had a unique power cord and when he found it being offered for sale on the Internet about 10 days after it was stolen, he checked the serial number and it matched the one he had owned, police said Monday.

“Unbelievable as it seems, he was in the bidding to buy his own stolen GPS,” District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.

The police investigation led to Rangkar, who owns a second-hand store in the borough of Queens. A search of his home and business uncovered several dozen items that police suspect had been stolen out of automobiles in the New York metropolitan area.

Police and prosecutors were hesitant to provide details of how they determined all the devices had been stolen, but at least two of the laptops were stamped “Property of St. John’s University.” Detective Ray Cote noted that the GPS devices specifically had the addresses of the legitimate owners programmed in and police were now contacting those victims to eventually return the items.

Catherine England, a spokeswoman for the San Jose, Calif.-based eBay, said her company has a 2,000 employee “trust and safety” unit that constantly monitors the site for illegal activity. She said the unit includes a liaison with law enforcement and that anyone suspected of illegal activity immediately has their account canceled.

Early Monday morning, Rangkar was still offering a number of items for sale on the site; it was not immediately clear whether the items were suspected of being stolen. Rangkar, who worked under the username nydannysjewelry, was identified as a power seller on the eBay site and buyers as recently as Sunday were raving about him.

“Fast delivery. Excellent product. Will do business again,” read one comment.

England said it was possible police had yet to notify her company about the arrest.

AP-ES-01-08-07 1756EST

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