Crime Tracker: Walmart Thieves Nab Thousands in Electronics

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By Sam Jones
By Andy Shofstall

WSIL -- Police are trying to track down the thieves who've targeted at least five Walmarts across our region in the past month, hitting stores in Illinois, Missouri, and Kentucky. New video shows they're walking right out the front doors with stolen electronics.

The stolen items add up to about $50,000 altogether. Investigators aren't sure the crimes are connected, but the m-o is similar. The thieves go into Walmart early in the morning and leave with carts full of tablets.

The first store was targeted in Marion one month ago. At 6 a.m., two men spent 40 minutes scoping out the electronics.

“It looks like he was looking for other employees, other customers, while the other one was getting into the cabinets,” Marion Detective David Herbert observed.

After breaking into the display, they got out in much less time, with a cart full of tablet computers worth $10,000.

“They did everything.  They got all the tablets out in under a minute so yeah I think they knew what they were doing,” he explained.

Next stop was in Collinsville, Illinois a couple weeks ago at 2:30 a.m. The three men got away with a whopping $31,000 in iPads; after being thwarted in a Missouri Walmart hours before.

Just two days later, the iPad thieves were at it again in Paducah. This time, two crooks made off with laptops and iPads.

“Electronic tablets, Walmart, it's probably connected,” added Herbert.

He’s working the Marion case and is surprised by the brazen crimes.

“They're stealing thousands of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise. That’s gonna hurt something. You know the amount that they're taking is just unbelievable,” he said.

The frequency is just as frightening.

“The odds are it's probably the same guys. I mean it sounds like it,” Herbert explained.

Somehow they have yet to be caught, which only motivates Herbert.

“Their luck's gonna run out. They're gonna get caught. Just a matter of time,” he advised.

Police think the suspects could be working together. Now law enforcement may combine their investigative efforts.

News 3 stopped in the Marion Walmart Thursday and noticed new heavy duty locks protecting some of the tablets inside.

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