Wal-Mart TV thief in custody

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.

  3 comments for “Wal-Mart TV thief in custody

  1. Nothing "funny" about it !
    January 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Sorry Shunnon, but there is nothing “funny” about this when you factor in that we, The Honest Consumer, are forced to pay higher prices because of what this Bozo does to support his drug habit.

    Yeah, he could do as you suggested and returned the TVs for store credit, but that means that you are inadvertently condoning this behavior by saying he wasn’t clever enough to do so.

    • January 11, 2012 at 7:51 am

      Please “no name” person no need to apologize that you did not think the entire situation was funny, I should have provided you more background in order for you to get my perspective.
      You see, Walmart will take back almost any merchandise with or without a receipt. The stories abound on the internet from the returning of pets to used diapers well after the 90 period. The idea that the theft could have returned one or more of the televisions to any of the Walmart stores without a receipt and may have received store credit is more ironic than funny. So I put that in the not funny-haha but funny-queer category.
      As much as this service appears to be “humanitarian” in nature it is purely a business decision. “Shrinkage” which includes damaged and stolen merchandise is factored into business models and what can’t be returned to the vendor or repackaged and put back out on the floor is written off (to a degree). Although there are still loud, obnoxious and unhappy customers they are the minority compared to those Walmart would have if they didn’t “take everything back”.
      Actually, I tried to find some balance after reading this story. The “Fake Walmart Employee Theft” did not seem important at all compared to finding out the autopsy revealed that Darrell Logan Jr. was shot 11 times by L.A.S.D and all but one hit him in the back. It is generally implied that at the time someone is shot in the back they are not presently a threat.
      Is stealing “funny”? Hell no, but there are a lot of stupid criminals and they are usually caught attempting to steal something. Was Darrell Logan Jr, committing a crime when he was shot 11 times in his garage? I don’t know, but the words “Captured” are not plastered across his picture but the words “Deputies shot Palmdale man 11 times, mostly in the back, autopsy shows” will be.

  2. January 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    The funny thing is that he could have returned them, even without a receipt, and Walmart would have given him store credit. Walmart was not losing any sleep over that merchandise.

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