Homewood Police charge business owner with receiving stolen goods

By Melanie Posey

HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) - Homewood Police bust a fencing operation and charge two men with selling property allegedly stolen from their city.

Frank Ranelli is the owner of Far Computers, LLC.  His son-in-law, Christopher Michael Hicks, also works at the business that's along Warrior Road in Birmingham's 5 Points West community.

Both men have been charged with receiving stolen property.

Homewood teamed up with Mountain Brook police to conduct an undercover investigation of the store.

After serving a search warrant, they recovered almost 50 computers, 10 flat screen TVs and 4 Wii consoles.   "They also do, as my understanding, computer repair business," Detective Sgt. Juan Rodriquez says.  "And some of the computers we recovered there were legitimate repairs and I have contacted some of those of those owners.  However, with that being said, some weren't."

This case is the latest indicator of increased crime in Homewood.  But officers send a message to criminals.   "I think the perception is not to come to Homewood because you'll get caught," Rodriquez says.

"And that message needs to be put back out there.  We're very good at catching people here.  We do prosecute our cases.  And we are very successful in those prosecutions."  FOX6 News tried to speak both Ranelli and Hicks but both chose not to comment.

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