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Smash-and-grab burglary thwarted by traffic stop, police say

2 men, 1 woman arrested in Alachua County after cellphone store burglary

Alachua County booking photos of Stephanie Bascone, Carl Hurd and Darius Smith.
Alachua County booking photos of Stephanie Bascone, Carl Hurd and Darius Smith.

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – A traffic stop led to the discovery of a smash-and-grab business burglary early Tuesday morning in Alachua County, the Gainesville Police Department said.

Carl Hurd, 23, Darius Smith, 22, and Stephanie Bascone, 19, are now facing burglary, fraud and drug charges, police said.

According to police, deputies with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office pulled a vehicle over for driving without headlights just after 2 a.m. Tuesday on Southwest Willistone Road in Archer.

The two men and the woman inside, later identified as Hurd, Smith and Bascone, were detained because the deputies smelled marijuana.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies found a cash register containing about $600, two bags of electronics -- holding about 200 assorted smartphones and iPads valued at $30,000 -- cash, a crowbar and masks. The cash register and electronics had been stolen from iCARE Smartphone Repair on Southwest 34th Street, police said.

A review of store surveillance video showed that two men entered at 1:48 a.m. and smashed two display cases using a crowbar. They filled two bags with phones, and one of the men pulled the cash drawer off the counter.

They fled the business in less than a minute, police said.

The business has an alarm, but it wasn’t turned on for some reason, officers said.

Hurd, Smith and Bascone, who are from the Miami area, were arrested after the Alachua County traffic stop.

GPD spokesman Officer Ben Tobias said his agency is grateful to Alachua County deputies for their help in the case.

“Had they not been alert and stopped a suspicious vehicle, this case would likely have been an unsolved burglary,” Tobias said.

Bascone is charged with burglary, possession of burglary tools, dealing in stolen property, fraud, larceny and possession of marijuana. She was driving the vehicle when it was pulled over.

Hurd and Smith are charged with burglary, possession of burglary tools and dealing in stolen property.

Smith is also charged with providing a false ID to a law enforcement officer.