Couple jailed after caught switching bar codes on Wal-Mart merchandise

A man and woman accused of switching bar codes on items – during multiple visits – to an Ocala Wal-Mart found themselves behind bars late Sunday afternoon.

Frank John Baier and Christina Monica Winton were arrested Sunday at Wal-Mart at 9570 SW Hwy. 200 in Ocala and charged with fraud/swindling to obtain property under $20,000.

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy was called to the store, located at 9570 SW Hwy. 200, and when he arrived, two loss prevention employees said they saw 68-year-old Frank John Baier and 67-year-old Christina Monica Winton at a self-checkout register scanning 48 items that had bar codes from cheaper merchandise. The employees said they said they also failed to scan some items and then attempted to leave the store after paying only $18.36, a sheriff’s office report states, adding that the unpaid items were valued at $67.92.

The deputy watched surveillance video from the incident and reported seeing Baier, of Ocala, scanning items with bar codes from lower-priced items. The video also showed Baier handing some items to Winton, of Silver Springs, that hadn’t been scanned, which she then put into bags “as if they had been paid for along with the scanned items,” the report says.
The loss prevention employees then showed the deputy surveillance video from Aug. 4, Aug. 10 and Aug. 11 showing Baier and Winton purchasing items with bar codes from lower-priced items, the report says.

Baier claimed that another man was in the store switching prices on items and he didn’t realize it and “must have missed scanning some of the items” when he was checking out. The deputy then asked Baier and Winton about the other incidents at the Wal-Mart and “they did not say anything,” the report says.

Baier and Winton were then taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail, where both were charged with fraud/swindling to obtain property under $20,000. Both were released Monday morning on $2,000 bonds and their next court dates haven’t yet been set.