NORTH SMITHFIELD – A employee at the Dowling Village Walmart is facing felony charges after taking more than $7,000 out of a fanny pack left behind by a shopper last month.
Julio Lozada, 20, of Woonsocket was charged with larceny of more than $5,000 following the incident on Thursday, Oct. 28.
According to police reports, the shopper, a 65-year-old female from Massachusetts, left the cash, her phone and other items in the pack behind in a handicap electric scooter shopping cart. The victim realized the error and told police she returned to the store 15 minutes later to retrieve her items.
Nothing had been turned in at the store, and when the victim’s husband later attempted to track her cell phone, it came up in the area of the store. Police found the phone in the woods across from nearby Petsmart.
The shopper told police that the pack contained $7,410, which was her restaurant earnings for the week.
The fanny pack was later found inside a cart at the store, but the cash and cell phone were no longer inside it.
Police reviewed surveillance footage and reportedly saw employee Lozada driving the electric cart and carrying the pack.
When questioned, Lozada initially told police he knew nothing about the fanny pack. Under questioning, he later admitted he took the cash and cell phone from the pack, and left the bag itself behind in the cart. Lozada reportedly told police he took around $10,000, and later threw the cell phone into the woods because it kept ringing. He said he spent $1,000, giving cash to friends and family, and buying himself a Nintendo Switch.
Lozada was processed and released with a mandatory hearing scheduled in Third District Court on Tuesday, Nov. 30.