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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Man caught trying to run checkout scam at Leesburg Walmart

Thomas James Nitzke
Thomas James Nitzke

A 57-year-old Fruitland Park man was arrested after he allegedly tried to leave Walmart without paying for more than $150 worth of merchandise.

Shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday, a Leesburg police officer responded to the store at 2501 Citrus Blvd, where a security employee had detained Thomas James Nitzke, of 1033 Atlantic Ave. The employee told the officer he was watching on store surveillance cameras when Nitzke started scanning items in his shopping cart, according to the police report.

The employee said Nitzke scanned two small packs of ground beef but did not scan a larger one, which he concealed in the cart. Nitzke was then seen grabbing a pair of Reebok shorts and placing them in a bag without scanning them. The employee said Nitzke did not scan 15 items and placed them in the cart. The total value of the items not scanned was $156.68. Nitzke then paid for the merchandise that he scanned but not the items he failed to scan. He tried to leave the store but was stopped by the security employee, the report said.

The officer checked Nitzke’s criminal record and found out he was convicted of theft in New York in 1982, 1985, and 1987. Nitzke was charged with petit theft (two or more prior convictions). He was released early Wednesday from the Lake County Jail on $2,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on June 13.

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