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Criminal genius: Shoplifter at Omaha store gets away, but leaves behind completed job application

Criminal genius: Shoplifter at Omaha store gets away, but leaves behind completed job application

A 20-year-old Bellevue man might want to review his shoplifting skills.

It took about five minutes Monday for store detectives to determine the name, address and phone number of the man they say walked out of the Scheels sporting goods store at Village Pointe without paying for a $40 bottle of cologne.

A loss prevention manager at Scheels told Omaha police that he was watching as the man selected a box of St. James of London cologne and strolled into another department about 12:15 p.m.

The man surreptitiously slid the bottle of cologne out of the box and into his pants, the Scheels worker said. The shoplifter then returned the box to its place on the shelf and left before the store employees could stop him.

The man’s first mistake was driving away in his father’s Toyota Camry slowly enough to let an employee write down the car’s license plate number. His bigger mistake: filling out an employment application when he arrived.

The loss prevention manager told police that while reviewing surveillance video of the incident he noticed the man had completed a job application. The man’s name, age, phone number and place of residence matched information police had gathered during numerous earlier arrests. A still photo from the video also matched the 20-year-old’s mug shot.

Police told the Scheels employee that they would try to find the man to issue him a shoplifting citation.

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Monday afternoon, the 20-year-old made it easy for the police to find him: He returned to the store for a job interview.

Really.

Someone from Scheels called police about 4:15 p.m. to say that the man was back. Officers arrived and arrested him on suspicion of shoplifting and then searched the car he was driving. They found the bottle of cologne in plain view and a small, clear pipe inside a black zipper container in the center console. They then cited him on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia.

A 22-year-old who was in the front passenger seat of the car also was cited on suspicion of possessing drug paraphernalia. Police spotted a large marijuana bong in the seat where that man had been sitting after the officers asked him to step out of the vehicle. He told them that the bong was his.

kevin.cole@owh.com, 402-444-1272

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