A South St. Paul, Minnseota man has been charged with stealing at least $6,000 worth of Tide laundry detergent after being caught on surveillance video wheeling shopping carts full of soap out of a store.
Security at the West St. Paul store called police on Feb. 7 to report an internal audit showing large amounts of Tide laundry detergent missing from the inventory. When employees reviewed security tape, they saw the same man taking detergent and other items from the store four or five days per week.
Video surveillance showed the man was at the store 28 days between Jan. 1 and Feb. 7, with an estimated $6,339.09 in merchandise stolen in that span. Police met with security personnel to wait for the suspect to come back to the store – an almost certain event given his near-daily habit over the past month. When he didn’t show up, police left the store and returned to the precinct.
Moments alter, security called and said they detained 53-year-old Patrick Paul Costanzo after he attempted to push another cart of items out of the store without paying for them. Over the past 15 months, inventory reports showed approximately $25,000 in laundry detergent missing from the store. Police were given three DVDs of store surveillance showing Costanzo’s past thefts. Costanzo was charged with one count of theft.