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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Man steals $160 worth of items from Walmart to ‘give wife something nice’

A 34-year-old Fort McCoy man was arrested after a Walmart employee caught him stealing over $160 worth of merchandise.

On Wednesday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the Walmart located at 9570 SW Highway 200 in Ocala in reference to a retail theft incident. Upon arrival, the deputy made contact with the store’s loss prevention associate who advised that the shoplifting suspect, identified as Lawrence Joseph Schaller II, had entered the store prior to her arrival, according to the arrest report.

Lawrence Joseph Schaller II
Lawrence Joseph Schaller II

The associate advised that she used the video surveillance cameras to watch Schaller as he walked around the store for over two hours. Schaller then went to the self-checkout where he paid for some merchandise, but the associate observed that he failed to scan multiple items, according to the MCSO report.

Schaller proceeded to walk past the cash registers with the unpaid merchandise, and the associate made contact with him near the store’s entrance. The associate then escorted Schaller to the loss prevention office.

The MCSO report stated that the total value of the unpaid merchandise was $162.53. While speaking with the loss prevention associate, Schaller spontaneously admitted to stealing the items, and he stated that he “knew it was wrong.”

The deputy made contact with Schaller. After being read his Miranda rights, Schaller advised that he had entered the store to “kill some time” before his wife’s appointment at a doctor’s office. He admitted that he had enough money to pay for some of the merchandise, but he told the deputy that he stole the additional items because he wanted to “give his wife something nice,” according to the MCSO report.

A criminal history search of Schaller revealed that he has prior convictions in Marion County for retail petit theft (2007) and grand theft (2008).

Schaller was arrested, transported to Marion County Jail, and he was later released on $2,000 bond. He is facing a felony charge for second-degree petit theft (third or subsequent offense).

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