Christmas tree, lights, Grinch ornaments among items stolen in 10 Walmart thefts, cops say

10 times! Christmas tree, lights, Grinch ornaments among items stolen in Walmart thefts, cops say

(As originally published with additional photos of each, Wed, March 13th 2024 at 9:07 PM)

SUMMERFIELD, Fla. (TND) — Managers at a Walmart in Florida told deputies about a string of 10 thefts at the store between the beginning of November and shortly before Christmas.

Deputies showed up at the store in Summerfield on Dec. 22 and were told the thieves “were swapping significantly lower-priced UPC barcodes with more expensive items, then using self-checkout and paying significantly less than the actual price of the merchandise.”

According to Nicole Danielle Marie DiMattia’s arrest report, an asset protection associate “provided photos, videos, and receipts documenting the loss amount and thefts.”

  • It said on Nov. 2, she “stole two ribeye steaks, pet medicine, cereal, and grape jelly from Walmart. After skinning lower priced UPC barcodes at the self-checkout, the suspect paid $8.05 for $77.15 worth of merchandise, resulting in a $69.10 loss.”

  • On Nov. 8, she returned with an alleged accomplice, later identified as Michelle Reed, “and stole Velcro strip tape, a dog outfit, bed sheets, a blanket, and two packs of Sharpie markers. After scanning lower-priced UPC barcodes at the self-checkout, the suspects paid $4.85 for $186.97 worth of merchandise, resulting in a $182.12 loss.”

  • On Nov. 25, “Suspects Nicole and Michelle return to Walmart again and stole two packs of Christmas lights, a Christmas tree, and Grinch Christmas ornaments. After scanning lower-priced UPC barcodes at the self-checkout, the suspects paid $3.88 for $121.70 worth of merchandise, resulting in a $117.82.”

  • On Nov. 28, “Suspect Nicole returned to Walmart with [an accomplice] later identified as suspect Hector Padro, Jr., and stole a pet bed, Christmas lights, and an extension cord. After scanning lower-priced UPC barcodes at the self-checkout, the suspects paid $3.88 for $70.44 worth of merchandise, resulting in a $66.56. loss.”

  • On Dec. 2, “Suspects Nicole and Hector returned to Walmart with an unknown [man]. Hector and the unknown male suspect were pushing carts full of items to separate self-checkout registers. Nicole follows Hector to the register and assists in scanning Bounty paper towels, Cricut pens, Cricut cutting tools, a bright pad, three rolls of vinyl, three boxes of vinyl, Cricut transfer tape, and socks. After scanning the lower-priced UPC barcodes at the self-checkout, the suspects paid $28.77 for $494.66 worth of merchandise, resulting in a $465.89 loss.”

  • Meanwhile, the arrest report said around the same time, “The unknown suspect is seen scanning headlight cleaner, a toolbox, Reebok socks, two JBL speakers, a Reebok jacket, and a toolkit at the other register. Nicole then approaches that register and assists in finishing to scan the items. Nicole then pays at that register as well. After scanning the lower-priced UPC barcodes at the self-checkout, the suspects paid $5.59 for $259.73 worth of merchandise, resulting in a $254.14 loss.”

  • On Dec. 3, “Suspects Nicole and Hector returned to Walmart and stole three breakfast sandwiches, a snowflake Christmas decoration, a hoverboard, a bike helmet, LED lights, and an LED light-up bear Christmas decoration. After scanning the lower-priced UPC barcodes at the self-checkout, the suspects paid $5.13 for $196.73 worth of merchandise, resulting in a $191.60 loss.”

  • On Dec. 10, “Suspect Nicole returned to Walmart and stole boots and cologne. After scanning the lower-priced UPC barcodes at the self-checkout, the suspect paid $13.95 for $46.25 worth of merchandise, resulting in a $32.30 loss.”

  • On Dec. 18, “Suspects Nicole and Hector returned to Walmart and stole air filters, steak, an RCA projector, a projection screen and a 12-pack of Coke. After scanning the lower-priced UPC barcodes at the self-checkout, the suspects paid $3.88 for $32.69 worth of merchandise, resulting in a $28.81 loss.”

  • And finally, on Dec. 21, “Suspects Nicole and Hector returned to Walmart and stole three rolls of iron-on vinyl, women’s boots, and a robot vacuum cleaner. After scanning the lower-priced UPC barcodes at the self-checkout, the suspects paid $4.85 for $314.43 worth of merchandise, resulting in a $309.58 loss.”

The total is staggering, and the asset protection associate told the corporal who took over the case in late January “the only vehicle she could locate for the suspects was a golf cart,” but since then, “Suspect Nicole returned and committed additional thefts.

“She stated that during one of these thefts, the suspect was observed getting into a red Cadillac SUV.”

But the vehicle didn’t belong to her.

The Walmart employee also said the thief “used a credit card in the name ‘Nicole DiMattia’ during some of the transactions,” and the corporal matched photos from the police computer.

Christmas tree, lights, Grinch ornaments among items stolen in 10 Walmart thefts, cops say
The latest booking photos of Nicole Danielle Marie DiMattia (center), who is suspected in all 10 thefts, and her alleged accomplices, Michelle Reed and Hector Padro, Jr. (Marion Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Finally, authorities checked out the woman whose Cadillac was being driven, along with photos of the suspects.

According to the arrest report, the owner and her daughter “both identified ‘Nicole,’ ‘Hector,’ and ‘Michelle’ from the photographs but did not know their last names.

“[The daughter] stated that she met Hector and Nicole while she was working at a nearby motel and learned that he repairs vehicles, so she asked him to work on the red Cadillac.

“[The mother] advised that ‘they’ had her vehicle for three days and drove it without her permission.”

It turned out, DiMattia and Padro lived together and the corporal found “a copper-colored golf cart parked in the driveway, along with a [car] registered to Michelle Reed,” and he confirmed “that Michelle Reed is the older female suspect with two-toned hair in the Walmart video.”

The three known suspects were arrested.

DiMattia, 45, was charged with 10 counts of petit theft-third or subsequent offense, which are all third-degree felonies.

Her arrest report ended with a criminal history from Hillsborough County. It said she was convicted of petit theft in 2017, and of grand theft in 2018.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office told The National Desk, “She has been booked in our jail several times by different agencies.”

Reed, 46, was charged with three counts of petit theft-2nd offense, after facing charges of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2016.

Padro, 31, was arrested at least 12 times in Marion County alone, and he had been in jail since early January on seven unrelated criminal charges: trafficking drugs, possession of cocaine, possession of drug equipment, smuggling contraband into prison, and three counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

He has apparently not been charged with the Walmart thefts.

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