Thief is caught because of loyalty program

Michael Pollara and his mother Margaret Pollara have spent the last ten years traveling around the United States shoplifting. The crooks would then use the money after selling the items to travel the world.

The enterprising crooks would go to Toys R Us, find a cheap toy in a big box, empty the contents, and put more expensive toys inside that box. They would then go to the checkout line where the cheap toy price would ring up.

Not satisfied with doing this only at Toys R US, they also went to CVS, Kmart, and other retailers to do the same.

Michael Pollara would then sell all the items on Ebay – clearing about $1,000,000 in sales from the stolen goods.

His use of a loyalty card program with Toys R Us finally did him in as the store was able to track the purchases in 30+ states after a theft was reported.

The best part of the story was Michael thanking CVS for sending him to Hawaii.

“He wanted to personally thank CVS for paying for his vacation to Hawaii in February,” Rossman said, reporting what Pollara said during questioning. “(Shoplifting) supports his travel around the world.”

In the end, his desire to shoplift and get credit with the Rewards R Us program was his undoing so let this be a lesson – crime doesn’t pay, even for Platinum status with Rewards R Us. 🙂

Thanks to Sice for the tip



  1. Worked in a Sam’s Club in college and this type of theft was the reason they would always cut open large boxes at the register to make sure what was supposed to be in there indeed was. Caught several people trying to pull this scheme.

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