Investigators say that 46-year-old Ignatius "Michael" Pollara of Tamarac, Florida, and his mother were recently arrested for a serious case of kleptomania, as they are allegedly responsible for stealing thousands of items from retail stores around the United States and selling them for million of dollars, according to a report by the Sun Sentinel.
"He made it a goal of his to steal from all 50 states within one year, which he was very proud of and he did accomplish," Sergeant Rich Rossman of the Broward Sheriff's Organized Retail Crimes Unit said, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The way Pollara was able to get away with the crimes is through a tactic called 'box stuffing,' Rossman told the news provider. Investigators said Pollara would allegedly enter a store and find an inexpensive item in a large box. He would then take the item out of its box, stashing it somewhere else in the store, and fill the empty container with smaller, more expensive products, seal it with tape and proceed through the checkout process.
"He considered it an art," Rossman said, according to the Sun Sentinel. "The art of stealing."
Rossman noted that Pollara said he would use his profits from stealing to travel around the world, the news source reported.
"[At one point] he wanted to personally thank CVS for paying for his vacation to Hawaii in February, which is consistent with his passport," Rossman said, according to the Sun Sentinel. "[Shoplifting] supports his travel around the world."
By implementing a robust set of crime-deterring security solutions, such as surveillance cameras and access control systems, retailers may be able to combat criminals who support similar shoplifting habits. A study by the University of Florida echoed this sentiment, saying that theft as a percentage of revenue on a national scale is decreasing through the use of advanced integrated security systems.
"Clearly security solutions are proving to be a solid investment and have saved retailers billions of dollars in losses every year," Michael Creedon, the vice president of national accounts for retail at ADT Commercial Security, said. "There are a number of technologies and services available today that can help retailers continue to prevent theft, decrease shrinkage and track merchandise effectively."