Pa. man nabbed in toilet theft scheme

http://tinyurl.com/cuxcvaq

WINDBER, Pa. (AP) — Police say a western Pennsylvania man's toilet theft scam didn't end with a clean getaway.

Thirty-two-year-old Bobby Clifford Smith III faces theft and related charges for allegedly exchanging a toilet he didn't buy for gift cards at a Somerset County home improvement store.

State police say Smith, of Windber, entered the store on Aug. 28, grabbed a toilet from a shelf and immediately went to the return line to exchange it for more than $600 in gift cards.

Investigators say surveillance footage from the store captured the entire episode.

The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat (http://bit.ly/TlB18o ) reports Smith was arraigned Tuesday and held on $30,000 bail. Court records don't list an attorney for him.

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On 9/10/2012 1:44 AM, snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

So what part is news or earth shattering? Scammers (usually druggies) do this sort of thing all of the time. Its the reason normal people get hassled returning stuff.

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Home Depot and lowes had a ring of people doing this, cost the borgs over a $100,000 bucks.

The thieves had multiple photo IDs, and got gift cards back which they sold on craiglist.

I had wondered how so many gift cards would be available on craiglist..

This explained it..........

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What do you consider being "hassled"?

I can't recall the last time I had any problem returning anything, especially at a borg, with or without a receipt. The only not-even-a hassle thing that happens is that I get asked for my driver's licence if I don't have a receipt. No big deal.

The one and only time I had the most minor of issues is when I returned a couple of hundred dollars worth of stuff to HD and then later that day found a few more items that I had forgotten to take in. Since I was near a different HD, I went in to return them there. The system flagged me as a "serial returner" or something like that and I simply had to show the other receipts to a manager to get the returns approved. Same customer, same day, 2 different stores. I can see that being slightly suspicious. Again, no big deal.

I recently took a pair shoes back to Target after wearing them for a month because the sole split. No receipt. The CSR looked up my debit card in their system, found the transaction and credited me for the shoes. He then called 2 other stores to find out who had a replacement pair. Heck, I was more of a hassle to him than he was to me.

Where/how do you get hassled when returning things?

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On Mon, 10 Sep 2012 13:13:39 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

The biggest problem I had with returns in recent years was when I got a digital camera valued at around $150 as an xmas gift. The person bought it at Walmart a month before xmas. After xmas, I did not try it right away, and finally did so around the middle of January. The camera took terrible pictures, and had other problems. I *HAD* a receipt, but they said it was beyond their return policy time limit. Even after telling them that it was a xmas gift, that did not matter. They told me to return it to the manufacturer, (which would have meant paying shipping and waiting, and still getting a camera that I simply did not like).

I asked for the manager, who said that all they could do is exchange it for another identical camera. I explained that the camera not only took terrible photos, but had features that I did not like, and that I wanted a different brand of camera entirely. They finally said that I could get another brand as long as the price was the same or more, and I'd have to pay the difference if it was more. I choose a different brand which cost about $60 more, paid the difference and was happy with that camera.

From this experience and hassle, I learned to not buy xmas gifts too early before xmas, and that they should all be tested immediately after purchase or the holiday. However, this has caused Walmart to lose some of their "Black Friday" sales from me, if they are intended to be a gift, particularly if they are electronics.

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On 09/11/2012 12:03 PM, snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

[snip]

Supposedly, the "black" in "Black Friday" refers to the way businesses keep track of profits. I think of it being a bad time to go out. Anyway, I'm spending most of the day putting out holiday decorations.

--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us
  Click to see the full signature.
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On 09/11/2012 10:03 AM, snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

That's Wal*Mart; they are the absolute *worst* company when it comes to accepting returns. The principle behind the chain is rock bottom pricing, with customer service taking a distant back seat.

Jon

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snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

What toilet costs $600 - at the Despot?

bob haller wrote:

In a normal country (ie - some country other than the USA), when you return a product, you have to show the original receipt to prove you actually bought it in order to get the refund. Unless this guy (or a friend?) actually bought one of these same toilets and this guy is using that receipt as part of this scam?.

Very funny - and fitting, that this guy tried to pull this stunt with a toilet. An iconic symbol of where you're "headed" as a country.

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