Bainbridge man charged with theft from Walmart

A 31-year-old Bainbridge Island man has been charged with first-degree trafficking in stolen property after he allegedly stole a coffee maker from the Walmart in Poulsbo and then returned the merchandise for a refund.

Tanner John Walker was recently charged with one felony complaint in Kitsap County District Court.

Police said Walker was caught after he tried to return a Shark vacuum cleaner for a refund at the Walmart on March 5.

A store worker, however, became suspicious after finding Walker had already made three back-to-back returns to Walmart, as well as a fourth one that was denied. The clerk also discovered that all of the returns had been for the same amount: $194.39.

During the fifth attempt to return merchandise to Walmart, Walker abruptly left the Poulsbo store, and said he wanted to see if his wife had the receipt for the vacuum cleaner.

A Walmart worker later reviewed video taken inside the store that showed Walker entering the store with no merchandise in his hands.

The video also showed, according to court documents, Walker picking up the vacuum cleaner and walking past the check-out lines to the customer service area where returns are accepted.

The Walmart employee also discovered Walker's four previous attempts to return merchandise to the retailer; one incident was at the Poulsbo location, and the other three, at the Walmart in Bremerton. All four events were within the same week.

When the employee checked the video from Walker's Feb. 27 visit to the Poulsbo Walmart, the employee saw Walker enter the store with a small boy just after 5 p.m. Walker's hands were empty when he arrived, the employee said.

Walker then allegedly walked into the home decor department and grabbed a Keurig coffee maker.

Two minutes later, Walker went past the registers without paying for the coffee maker and instead approached the customer service area for a no-receipt return. Walker was given a shopping card for $194.39, and a Walmart worker said he then went and bought groceries with the card.

Walker was charged for the incident involving the coffee maker. He was found by police following his March 5 trip to Walmart in Poulsbo. A clerk was able to write down his name and date of birth from his driver's license as he was trying to get a refund.

Bail was initially set at $10,000.

If convicted, Walker could face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a $20,000 fine.


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