Common Thief or Mystery Shopper?
Mystery shoppers are employed in some large stores to pretend to be customers. The idea is that the “customer” assesses the level of service they get from the store employees and hopefully gives some useful feedback to store management so they can provide a better service in future.
Mystery shoppers are not expected to wander around helping themselves to items in the store, however much they like them. They are also unlikely to be working on a freelance basis without the knowledge of the manager of the store, unless of course it is the manager that they are assessing!
With this description of a mystery shopper firmly in mind, 20 year old Alexander Weigard may have hit upon a rather feeble story when he told police last Sunday that he wanted a job as a mystery shopper at a Palm Beach Walmart. It is alleged that Weigard was discovered wandering around the store manager’s office stuffing things into a garbage bag. It was reported that he stuck $462.86 worth of goods from the office, including an X-box into the bag before he was stopped..
The report doesn’t go into details about how the 20 year old, wearing a hoodie and a sweatshirt he had supposedly pulled on after entering the Walmart, happened to get into the manager’s office unnoticed or why he thought that using the “mystery shopper” story would be of any use.
Weigard was searched after being arrested and it was alleged that he had a Mentos container carrying Xanax tablets and “other drugs,” a loaded handgun and an amount of heroin on him at the time.
On being asked about the drugs, he said they were because his foot hurt. He also said that he got the handgun from someone else at a Dunkin’ Donuts just before going to the Walmart. He also said that he had pulled on the hoodie and sweatshirt because his own clothes were “dirty.”He is reported to have said that he wanted a “mystery shopper” job because it sounded “cool”.
It doesn’t seem that young Weigard’s story was believed by the police as they have now charged him with quite serious criminal offenses and have held him at the Palm Beach Jail pending posting a bond of $15,000.
He has been charged with grand theft, burglary, possession of controlled drugs and carrying a concealed weapon. These are serious criminal charges and the likelihood is that Weigard will end up in prison for a considerable period if he is not vigorously defended by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
There is no indication whether the would-be mystery shopper has had any previous criminal convictions or whether he has been in jail before. Florida still has a relatively high recidivism rate, with around 28% of criminals returning to jail within three years after they are released. The state has had a vigorous and ongoing internal debate about what can be done to reduce the prison population, the number of juveniles being sent to trial in an adult court and the recidivism rate.
If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, you should immediately consult a Florida criminal defense attorney. In fact, as I have advised readers of this blog before, you should have your Florida criminal defense attorney’s phone number on speed dial.
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If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: 305-644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.