EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 19, 2013

Alleged shoplifter made return trip to Walmart

By Jo-Anne MacKenzie

---- — SALEM, N.H. — When Nadia Ibrahim, 30, returned to Walmart Thursday for her second trip of the month, store employees were ready for her.

The Concord woman was arrested when she tried to leave the store with a 55-inch TV, storage bins and other items worth $1,064 — without paying for them, police said.

Employees recognized Ibrahim, Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten said, from an incident Jan. 4 when she is alleged to have stolen four iPad minis, valued at $1,516.

When some store workers thought they recognized Ibrahim Thursday, they checked surveillance video from the earlier theft and kept an eye on her, Patten said.

She allegedly loaded a large LED TV, a hamper, some storage bin and other items into a cart and tried to leave the store, he said.

Police were called and, after a brief struggle, took Ibrahim into custody. She faces two felony charges of willful concealment and a charge of resisting arrest. The total value of items Ibrahim is charged with trying to steal in the two incidents is $2,580.

Ibrahim was able to post $950 cash bail and was released.

The alleged theft is substantial, but not that unusual in Salem. In recent years, more people have been arrested for trying to wheel large items out of stores without stopping at the register.

“People have become more brazen and, probably in some circumstances, desperate,” Patten said. “And there is a market for it.”

It’s the value of the items stolen, not the size, that matters when it comes to charges. In the incident Jan. 4, he said, Ibrahim allegedly dropped the four iPads into her purse.

A shoplifting charge rises to the felony level when the value of the items tops $1,000.

“Walmart gets hits by these things like other big-box stores,” Patten said. “Walmart has two large entrances, a lot of people in a big store and a lot of stock piled high in places. Someone could conceivably get out of there without being seen.”

But Walmart and most other stores employ their own loss prevention workers, have surveillance cameras throughout the store and use other techniques to prevent theft, he said.

“Some people aren’t aware of that,” he said.