Top Case 1 - September 5,1998: Wal-Mart, Cranberry Twp., PA PDF Print E-mail

September 5,1998: Wal-Mart, Cranberry Twp., PA: " Highest Single S/L Recovery - $3,915"


wal-mart-logo"Police arrest Ohio man for Wal-Mart thefts" (from The Butler Eagle newspaper article) - An Ohio man was arrested after he allegedly took more than $4,000 in merchandise from Wal-Mart, police said. John Doe, 19 of Campbell Ohio was charged with retail theft. Police said a store security officer saw a man and woman loading the items inside a box in the store. The subject then entered the store and purchased the box at its face value, $35. In the box were videotapes, tools, cologne, clothing cameras, CD's, and household items. Total value of the items taken was $3,915.80.

- Apprehension Report –

I first saw the subjects, a young male (late teens to early 20's) and older female (early to mid 40's) as they entered the store. I recognized the female as someone we had seen previously, and were on the lookout for. They walked back to the Infants Department and selected a stroller that came in a box. They placed it in their shopping cart and continued shopping around the store. When they entered the Toy Department, they took the box out of their shopping cart and placed it among the large boxed toy items (Big Wheels, Tricycles, etc.). They also removed the stroller from inside the box and set it aside. They left Toys with the shopping cart and proceeded to shop and select various items throughout the store. They would select the items they wanted, cover them up with a article of clothing, then take the items back to the empty box they had left in the Toy Department. Then they would remove the items from the shopping cart and place them in the empty stroller box. They would then close the box up and go get more merchandise. They repeated this same process numerous times, until they filled the box. Once the box was filled, they taped it shut with tape they had picked up from our stationary department, then they left the store. I had already radioed one of the managers on duty as to what was going on, and to be ready to back me up.
After 10—15 minutes, another young male with an empty shopping cart approached the Toy Department and entered the aisle where the box stuffed with merchandise was still sitting. He acted as if he knew right away which item he wanted. He lifted up the stroller box and placed it in his shopping cart. He then proceeded to the front checkouts and since the box was sealed, the cashier had no reason to suspect any thing other than a stroller was in it. He paid for the presumed stroller with cash (under $40) and pushed the shopping cart with the box out the front doors. I checked with the cashier to verify how much he had paid, then followed the suspect outside and along with the assistant manager I had radioed earlier, we stopped him just off the front sidewalk, identified ourselves and returned him and the shopping cart to the store security office. The suspect offered no resistance and acted as if he had done nothing wrong. Cranberry Township Police were called and the suspect was arrested and taken into custody. We were unable to locate the other two individuals who had loaded up the box. The older female was later identified as the head of a local shoplifting ring that used and paid young males to do her stealing for her. She would pay them a set amount for assisting her, then keep the stolen merchandise to sell.

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