Ever go into the toy aisle of a store and find open packages with pieces missing or even toys sitting on the shelf without packaging in sight? Well this might be the ultimate example of how things got that way.
WTVJ-TV 6 South Florida is reporting that the mother and son duo of 46-year-old Ignatius "Michael" Pollara and 70-year-old Margaret Pollara stole more than US$2 million worth of toys from various stores such as K-Mart, Wal-Mart, and Target over 10 years. Since May 9 they were tracked visiting 139 Toys "R" Us stores in 27 states from Arizona to Maine including 31 stores in Florida. Michael claims he stole enough from CVS alone to fund a Hawaiian vacation.
So how'd they do it? The pair would take cheap toys with large boxes, empty the contents, and refill them with more expensive toys like US$150 Lego sets and US$100 Leap Pads and software, then pay for the items in the cheaper box. In the end, they only spent US$6,738 at Toys "R" Us. This would prove to be their undoing as they used a Toys "R" Us reward card that tracked all of their activity and lead to a three month internal investigation.
Michael is being held at Broward County Main Jail on $318,500 bond for 13 counts for grand theft, felony petit theft, dealing in stolen property, criminal conspiracy, and organized scheme to defraud, Margaret is being held at the Paul Rein Detention Facility on $29,100 bond and facing 6 counts for grand theft, petit theft, criminal conspiracy, and organized scheme to defraud.
This is just two people. I can't imagine how many other people out there are doing the same thing.
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