PALMDALE – The man who disguised himself as a Wal-Mart employee on New Year’s Eve and walked out of the store with four televisions has been identified and taken into custody, according to the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
Palmdale detectives have marked Michael Hollins of Rosamond as the man behind the Wal-Mart incident, as well as a similar incident at Costco on Dec. 22 where a man walked out with two flat screen televisions. They say Hollins, 50, stole the televisions to support his drug habit.
Hollins was arrested Saturday on an unrelated drug possession charge in Lancaster and remains in custody. Officials say Hollins will be charged with multiple counts of burglary regarding both the Wal-Mart and Costco incidents.
The following is the press report from the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station:
The theft suspect who dressed up as a Wal-Mart employee was identified, due to the help of media outlets, and was taken into custody over the weekend.
Palmdale Detectives released surveillance photos of the suspect last week after he disguised himself as a Wal-Mart employee on New Year’s Eve and walked out of the store with four televisions. After the story was released, Palmdale Detectives began working with neighboring stations, sharing information that a similar incident might occur.
On Dec. 22, Lancaster Deputies were called to a similar incident in which a Costco customer walked into the store, selected two flat screen televisions, and walked out the door with the televisions. When he was asked for a receipt by a Costco employee, he informed them the items were a return and continued to walk out of the door.
Costco’s Loss Prevention team used video surveillance to identify the suspect and alerted employees to notify them if the suspect returned.
On Jan. 3, the suspect returned to the store and selected two additional televisions. He again proceeded to walk out of the exit of the store when he was confronted by store Loss Prevention members. While Loss Prevention Officers attempted to detain the suspect, the suspect ran from the exit to his vehicle and fled the scene. While the Loss Prevention Officers were not able to detain the suspect, they were able to recover the stolen televisions, and obtain the license plate of the suspects’ vehicle.
Lancaster Detectives were able to identify the suspect as Michael Hollins, from Rosamond, with this information.
On Jan. 6, Lancaster Detectives were continuing their investigation with Costco employees when they discovered that Hollins matched the description of a suspect seen through media outlets, stealing four televisions in the Palmdale area.
Detectives from Lancaster and Palmdale Stations combined their investigations when they received a break in the case. Over the weekend, Hollins was arrested on an unrelated drug possession charge in the City of Lancaster.
Through interviews detectives have been able to determine that Hollins’ motives for stealing the televisions were to sustain his narcotics addiction. He also claims he obtained the Wal-Mart identification while visiting with a previously terminated employee.
Hollins is currently being held at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station on narcotics charges and was scheduled to be arraigned today [Tuesday]. He will be additionally charged with multiple counts of burglary regarding both the Wal-Mart and Costco incidents. Palmdale and Lancaster Stations would like to thank the media, community, and involved businesses for [their] support in the solving of this case.