Woman arrested after crazy soda scheme

On January 25, 2012, in Larceny, by djeyli

Massachusetts police arrested a woman at a Lynn Stop & Shop Saturday after she allegedly stole $64 worth of soda cans from the store and attempted to feed them into a digital can return machine in exchange for money, according to a Lynn Police incident report.

According to the report, Officer Craig Fountain was watching loss prevention video while on detail at the grocery store, when he observed 36-year-old Tina Cafarelli purchase 18 12-packs of assorted soda and pay with a state-issued electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card, which she allegedly also stole. Cafarelli immediately took the cans to the store’s digital can return machine and attempted to deposit them without emptying them.

When Fountain and another officer approached Cafarelli, the report said, she initially told them her name was Susan Russell, the name on the EBT card, and refused to give Fountain her real name, instead giving two false names and two false social security numbers. She was eventually identified at police headquarters after being taken into custody, the report said.

A Lynn District Court judge ordered Cafarelli held at Essex County House of Correction in lieu of $250 bail during an arraignment Monday, where she was formally charged with larceny under $250 by false pretense, destruction of property over $250, obstruction of justice and receiving stolen property.

Stop & Shop manager Kevin Wilson estimated the damage to the machine to be “well over $250,” according to the report. Wilson, could not be reached for comment.

Cafarelli is due back in court on Feb. 14.

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