NORTH SMITHFIELD — A Dowling Village Walmart employee is facing felony charges after removing more than $7,000 from a fanny pack left by a shopper last month.
Julio Lozada, 20, of Woonsocket has been charged with theft over $5,000 following the incident on Thursday, October 28.
According to police reports, the customer, a 65-year-old woman from Massachusetts, left the money, her phone and other items in the bag in an electric handicapped scooter caddy. The victim realized the mistake and told police she returned to the store 15 minutes later to collect her items.
Nothing had been returned to the store, and when the victim’s husband later tried to track his cell phone, he appeared in the store area. Police found the phone in the woods in front of nearby Petsmart.
The buyer told police the package contained $7,410, which was his restaurant earnings for the week.
The fanny pack was later found in a cart in the store, but the cash and cellphone were missing.
Police reviewed surveillance footage and allegedly saw employee Lozada driving the electric cart and carrying the bag.
When questioned, Lozada initially told police he knew nothing about the fanny pack. When questioned, he later admitted to taking the money and mobile phone from the bag and leaving the bag himself in the trolley. Lozada allegedly told police he took about $10,000, then threw the cell phone in the woods because it kept ringing. He said he spent $1,000, gave money to friends and family, and bought himself a Nintendo Switch.
Lozada was processed and released with a mandatory hearing scheduled in Third District Court on Tuesday, November 30.