MESA, Ariz. — Two women are accused of stealing more than $100,000 worth of merchandise from Walmart stores in five states, authorities said.
According to the Mesa Police Department, Mary Garcia, 47, and Melinda Rodriguez, 38, were arrested on June 17 in Arizona, and face several counts of organized retail theft, KSAZ reported.
In March, Walmart officials noticed “multiple suspicious transactions” involving the company’s in-store scanning app, KTVK reported. According to authorities, Garcia and Rodriguez would scan merchandise with a smartphone in order to use the quick pay option at checkout, the television station reported.
After scanning, the women walked out of the store with the items, while the app made it appear they had paid for the merchandise, KSAZ reported.
According to the Mesa Police Department, Garcia and Rodriguez used the tactic in Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah and Texas. Walmart loss prevention personnel traced $72,000 of stolen goods to Garcia in Maricopa County, Arizona, while Rodriguez was responsible for $34,000 in stolen items, according to KSAZ.
“Thanks to the strong partnership between Walmart and the Mesa Police Department, thefts like this are not overlooked,” the police department said in a statement. “Thefts of this type can cause retailers to raise prices to compensate for loss. By arresting thieves who steal large amounts of merchandise, prices are kept at bay for the everyday honest consumer.”
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