A MAN has been accused of stealing nearly $200 worth of merchandise after carrying out a popular method of theft at self-checkouts.
William Kent Abrego Jr., 56, is facing criminal charges in Clarion County, Pennsylvania after he allegedly paid just $1 for about $180 worth of fishing gear at a Walmart self-service checkout.
According to court documents, on Sept. 2, Clarion County police responded to a retail theft call at the Walmart on Perkins Road in Monroe Township.
They quickly found Abrego outside of the Walmart in the parking lot almost immediately afterward, per Explore Clarion.
In Abrego’s shopping cart were two Max Pro fishing reels with customized price tags.
The price tags on the two reels are said to have been for completely different items.
One label was for a mug and the other for a bowl.
The two products cost 50 cents each, which is a total of $1 for both products.
Fishing bait was also found in the 56-year-old’s shopping cart, which was not paid for in full, according to local law enforcement.
After Pennsylvania State Police received surveillance footage of Abrego’s checkout purchase over a month later on October 25.
Abrego scanned the Max Pro reels with their Universal Product Code (UPC) facing away from the till, with the bowl and cup codes attached and facing the camera.
They called at $1.00 and the lure was not scanned at all, resulting in the entire Abrego allegedly stealing $181.74.
Abrego faces charges of “Theft in retail store – Label/Pricing Alteration, Offense 1,” according to official documents.
The method Abrego allegedly used to steal the reels is known as “switcheroo”.
As previously reported by The US Sun, the “switcheroo” method of self-checkout theft has been popular for some time.
It’s a matter of peeling the sticker off of something cheaper and sticking it over the barcode of something more expensive.
Abrego did just that, but the trickier part is that the items have to be relatively the same weight when you put them in the packing area or an alarm will go off.
In Abrego’s situation, he probably used the weight of the baits, which weren’t scanned at all, to balance the weight of the bowl and cup.
The “switcheroo” is not the only method of self-checkout theft, however, as many others such as the “banana trick” and “passing around” have become common types of theft.
The shops are also arming themselves with preventive measures.
The US Sun has the story about a former Target employee who blazed a trail for the store to go after those who steal from self-checkouts.
For related content, The US Sun is also reporting an urgent self-checkout health warning for all who use it.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6862873/walmart-thief-accused-of-switcheroo/ Walmart thief accused of using ‘Switcheroo’ at self-checkout to pay $1 for $181.74 of merchandise