LARGO – Largo police concluded a six-month investigation July 10 with the arrest of a man they say sold pianos he took in on consignment and then kept the money for himself.
Randall Eugene Sheets, 47, of Treasure Island was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and charged with one count of scheme to defraud, on count of grand theft from a person 65 years or age or older and one count of grand theft. Bail was set at $150,000.
According to a press release, Lara Young, an Economic Crimes detective with Largo PD, spent “countless hours” investigating allegations about business dealings at Randy’s Pianos, 5047 Ulmerton Road. Reportedly, Sheets had been taking pianos on consignment for a number of years, selling them and then keeping the money. When the original owners attempted to find out what happened to their pianos, Sheets gave different stories about the status of the sale.
Sheets declared bankruptcy and closed his business Jan. 3. Largo PD soon began receiving reports from piano owners who claimed Sheets owed them money. Before Sheets’ arrest, 26 police reports were generated covering 24 victims. Seven victims were elderly, police said.
Over the years, 30 pianos were taken in and sold without paying the original owners. Police say Sheets owes the victims $253,070.
Other potential victims of this scheme are asked to call the Largo police Communications Center at 727-587-6730.