WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – From Redbox to the cell block: police say they arrested a man who was renting DVDs and illegally selling them on eBay.
Officers arrested Joshua Hoblitz, 23, after they said he stole peoples' identities and took out pre-paid credit cards in their names. He allegedly used those cards to rent the movies.
Instead of returning the rentals, he reportedly sold the DVDs and video games on eBay.
He now faces 80 charges including identity theft, failure to return rental property and obtaining property by false pretenses.
Police said the case started to unravel when a customer contacted Redbox after buying a video on eBay. The customer suspected the video belonged to Redbox.
Redbox then went onto eBay and apparently bought its own videos back from Hoblitz.
They alerted police about the scheme.
Wilmington Police Corporal Bobby Benton says Hoblitz sold at least 400 DVDs, making more than $10,000.
"You might get away with something like this once or twice," Benton said. "There's a paper trail on everything. You can't do something like this and there not be a way of tracking it."
Benton said that Hoblitz committed similar crimes in other North Carolina cities, as well as in Tennessee and Virginia. He likely faces even more charges in those jurisdictions.
Benton said Hoblitz was motivated by greed. He said it's a shame.
"He's a smart, young man," he said. "He had the potential of doing something good but he tried to get something quick and easy for nothing."
Hoblitz is currently being held at the New Hanover County detention facility in lieu $107,000 secure bond.
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