Police bust retail theft ring - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Police bust retail theft ring

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Tyler Engstrom of Spokane was arrested after an asset protection employee at Walmart saw him in line at the Stateline store.

Police say Engstrom would find receipts on the ground or the garbage can, take the receipt, steal the items listed, and return them to get cash.

According to police, Engstrom and several others have committed this fraud at the Post Falls, Hayden, and Spokane area Walmarts.

"I couldn't put a number to it but it happens quite frequently depending where you're at and these are usually high priced that people want to take back,” Gary Booker, a former Safeway employee, said.

According to the Post Falls police report, Engstrom has been doing this since November 2016 to fuel his drug habit.

“It was routine when people did it,” Booker said, “you would see people come from the store and go right to it and drop their stuff in the trash can pull it out and come back inside and get the items and say 'hey I want to return these’.”

Engstrom is charged with burglary, possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia and petit theft.

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