BRENTWOOD, N.H. — Two bottles of Gatorade purchased with a credit card led police to a Methuen man tied to thefts of tens of thousands of dollars of home improvement goods, according to court documents.
In April, Lucas Almonte of 141 Center St., Methuen, left the Salem Lowe's with about $3,000 worth of goods, including cabinets, a door, a faucet and tools, but he only paid $18.72 for two bottles of Gatorade and felt pads, according to court documents.
That was one of the many transactions that unfolded over a six-month period during which three men, including Almonte, are accused of stealing $55,000 worth of products from Lowe’s Home Improvement in Salem, according to court documents.
Almonte and Kelvin Trinidad, 36, of 103 Woodland St., Lawrence, were each arrested Aug. 8 and charged with four counts of organized retail crime theft of over $1,500, according to police.
Former Lowe's employee Alex Serrano, 36, of 40 Cedar Road in Lawrence pleaded guilty in June to theft by deception of over $1,500 and organized retail crime enterprise.
According to court documents, Serrano worked at the Lowe’s in Salem for seven months prior to being arrested in May.
For six of those months, he would issue a false receipt for items, or “pass off” items without charging for them, according to court documents.
For one of the transactions, according to court documents, Serrano rang up the items then voided the transaction. He then pocketed a cash payment and printed a blank receipt.
Serrano's sentencing hearing is set for Oct. 21 at Rockingham County Superior Court.
Trinidad and Almonte turned themselves into Salem police last week at the same time.