An Ocala woman accused of repeatedly ripping off a local Wal-Mart found herself behind bars on Wednesday.
A Marion County sheriff’s deputy was called to the store at 9570 SW Hwy. 200 and when he arrived, a loss prevention employee claimed that 41-year-old Leslie Lopez had been stealing from the store for several months. The employee alleged that Lopez had taken about $2,300 in merchandise. He also claimed to have approximately 41 separate cases of theft from the store and provided the deputy with 29 cases that took place between Nov. 12, 2019 and Jan. 14, a sheriff’s office report states.
The employee claimed that Lopez would pretend to scan items at self-checkout stations, bag them and then pay less than she owed. The report noted that Lopez allegedly was scanning a UPC barcode of a cheaper product that was taped to the bottom of her debit card. It said that she “made it appear” as if she was scanning the merchandise but she was actually holding the modified debit cared under the product, the report says.
The deputy observed several surveillance videos of Lopez at self-checkout stations using the modified debit card in her hand to ring up items at lower costs. He noted that on Nov. 20 of last year she used a UPC barcode for Beefaroni to ring up several items for 88 cents. The total bill for her purchases that day came to $31.08 – when the actual total should have been $163.65, the report says.
A Dec. 23 surveillance video showed Lopez using a barcode for Great Value mushrooms attached to her debit card to ring up various items for 64 cents apiece, the report says, noting that the deputy determined Lopez had taken items ranging in value of more than $750 but less than $5,000.
The deputy responded to Lopez’s residence at 13092 SW 84th Terrace Rd. in Ocala. She agreed to speak with him and admitted using different barcodes to ring up merchandise at the Wal-Mart. She said she “knew it was wrong” and said she “only did it a couple of times,” the report says.
Lopez was then placed under arrest and transported to the Marion County Jail, where she was charged with larceny/grand theft. She was released early Thursday morning on $2,000 bond and her next court date hasn’t yet been set, jail records show.