Did a Portland Couple Shoplift $5 Million Worth of Groceries?

  • Share
  • Read Later
Customers walk in front of a Safeway grocery store in San Francisco.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Safeway claims one sticky-fingered Oregon duo lifted everything from shampoo to DVDs over a span of many years.

But finally their run of ransacking has come to an end. Richard Lavern Remington and Angela Rose Evans were arrested two weeks ago for a string of petty thefts at Portland, Ore. supermarkets that added up to one hefty haul.

(More on TIME.com: See the global shoplifting spree inspired by the recession.)

The couple faced charges last week to accusations that they stole $5 million worth of merchandise from Safeway grocery stores. How could they possibly swipe so many goods while evading capture? After all, Safeway is a national chain with antitheft measures in place, including a loss prevention team. But Remington and Evans apparently slid under the radar with their low-level crime.

After her arrest, Evans told police they stole mostly small-ticket items, like shampoo, razors and Rogaine, Portland TV station KGW News reports. The couple also focused on DVDs and batteries – items that are small but quite costly. Were the thefts just random and spontaneous? No way, police say. In fact, they allegedly used a shopping list just like average shoppers.

Catching on to the act, Safeway started tracking Remington and Evans in November by installing a tracking device on the couple’s van.  Whenever the van popped up at a Safeway, the loss prevention team would monitor the couple. And their haul was staggering: in less than two months that they were under surveillance, the couple made 103 thefts that were captured on camera – meaning they hit multiple stores a day.

Safeway security officer Trent Drucker estimates that they stole $400,000 a year in merchandise over a span of several years, with an overall take of $5 million. While this sum could certainly be inflated by Safeway, the sheer number of thefts in such a short span shows the couple certainly could have been pros at this.

It’s unclear what their motives were – who needs that much Rogaine, especially when neither person is bald? – but Remington and Evans are in jail now, awaiting trial. NewsFeed has a feeling they won’t be able to steal the key to their cell door.

(More on TIME.com: Will Walmart end its price chopping?)