An elderly Florida mom and her son have been arrested on charges of stealing more than $2 million in toys from toy stores in 27 states, and then allegedly selling the stolen goods on eBay, reports USA Today.
Michael Pollara, 46, and his 70-year-old mother, Margaret Pollara, were charged with stealing merchandise from 139 Toys R”” Us stores, including 31 Toys “R” Us stores in Florida alone. Authorities say that Michael Pollara had a goal to steal in all 50 states, and his mom helped him reach that lofty goal. (Allegedly.)
Is this like some kind of criminal version of being a “stage mom”? And can a new reality show on TLC be far away?
Authorities say that the pair used a scam called “box stuffing.” Michael Pollara would allegedly empty a large box containing low-price merchandise. While Margaret Pollara acted as a look-out, he would then stuff the box with more expensive merchandise.
According to a detective’s arrest affidavit, Pollara favored emptying a Little Tykes “Big Adventure Raceway” box and filling it up with high-priced goods like LEGO toys, Leap Pads, and software.
Since Toys “R” Us began investigating on May 9, Pollara has been in 139 of the chain’s stores across 27 states, from Arizona to Maine, and has spent $6,738 at them, according to the affidavit. Toys “R” Us was able to track Pollara because he used his Toys “R” Us rewards card for his purchases. Because obviously it’s important to be thrifty, folks.
NBC 6 South Florida reported that the task force that stopped the Pollaras said at a press conference that the son has been stealing for over 10 years from various retailers, including Kmart, Sears, Walmart, Target and Macy’s. They estimated that he made a million dollars over the last several years. He told detectives that he made so much money from just CVS stores alone that he took in enough cash to fund a nice vacation to Hawaii, authorities said.
“It was one of his goals to visit all 50 states and commit thefts in all 50 states, which he was very proud of he did succeed,” Broward Sherriff’s Office Sgt. Rich Rossman said.
You know, I’m all about supporting my kids in their efforts to achieve their dreams, but maybe draw the line somewhere? Possibly the place to draw that line would be when your afternoon of fun becomes a felony.
On the plus side, I’m feeling a lot better about how much time I spend playing Lego Batman 2 with my 6-year-old.
I smell a new reality show for TLC. What would the show be called?
(Photo Credits: Broward Sherriff’s Office)
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