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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Ocala man arrested after making fraudulent returns at Walmart

A 27-year-old Ocala man was arrested after he was caught making fraudulent returns at a local Walmart.

On Tuesday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the Walmart located at 9750 SW Highway 200 in Ocala in reference to a theft incident. Upon arrival, the deputy made contact with the store’s loss prevention manager who advised that a man, identified as Sean Burdelle Burham, had walked into the store without any items in his possession.

Sean Burdelle Burham
Sean Burdelle Burham

The manager advised that Burham proceeded to walk around the store and placed items inside a shopping cart. According to the manager, Burham then walked directly to the customer service desk and attempted to return the items that he had grabbed. Those items, which totaled $144.96, included clear storage containers, women’s underwear, and other miscellaneous items, according to the MCSO report.

When Burham approached the customer service desk, he pulled up a receipt on his cellphone and showed it to a customer service associate. Before the refund could be processed, the manager intervened and the items were confiscated.

The deputy reviewed the store’s video surveillance footage and observed Burham entering the business with “nothing in his hands but his cellphone.” As Burham walked throughout the store, the deputy observed him placing multiple items into his shopping cart. He then proceeded to bypass the cash registers and headed straight to the customer service desk to return the items, according to the MCSO report.

After viewing the surveillance footage, the deputy made contact with Burham. After being read his Miranda rights, Burham admitted that the receipt he had brought in to return the items was a “past receipt” for items that he had purchased with his spouse.

Burham told the deputy that he had seen other individuals on social media who had returned items at stores without getting caught. He advised that he had attempted to get the refund because he was “going through hard times and needed the money for his family,” according to the MCSO report.

The deputy detained Burham in handcuffs and escorted him to a patrol vehicle. During a pat-down search of Burham, the deputy found a glasses case in his right front pocket. Inside the case, the deputy observed a glass pipe and a black container filled with a crystal substance.

The crystal substance later field-tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine. A white residue inside the glass pipe also field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

The deputy noted in the MCSO report that Burham claimed to have found the glasses case in the Walmart parking lot. He told the deputy that he picked up the case because he thought it contained a pair of sunglasses.

Burham was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $5,000 bond. He is facing felony charges for common law cheating and possession of a controlled substance, along with misdemeanor charges for possession of drug paraphernalia (two counts).

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.