Carl Dodson. Photo by MCSD.
Salem Man Arrested with Several Thefts from Salem Wal-MartA 22-year-old Salem man has been arrested in connection with the theft of computer software and games from the Salem Wal-mart as well as a number of other Wal-mart stores in the St. Louis area. Carl Dodson of East Mitchell was taken into custody Wednesday while allegedly hitting the Salem store for the second time. He was charged in Marion County Court Thursday morning for alleged felony retail theft and felony theft.
Salem Police Detective Brian Green says Dodson had already been developed as a suspect based on a license plate number obtained at one of the other Wal-mart stores and a facial image captured at the Salem store. During questioning following his arrest, Dodson allegedly admitted to thefts on three occasions at the O'Fallon store, two times at the Collinsville store, and one time at the Wal-mart store in Kirkwood, Missouri.
Some of the stolen merchandise was recovered from a room at the Bell Tower Inn in Centralia where Dodson was staying. Salem Police obtained a search warrant for the room as part of the investigation Wednesday night. Dodson told police he had sold many of the stolen items on internet sites.
Wal-mart Corporate officials have indicated their loss from the thefts already tied to Dodson at $15,000 to $20,000. Green suspects Dodson will be tied to other similar thefts once the word about the arrest gets out. Dodson told police he began committing the thefts in March.
Green says Dodson apparently always followed the same routine. He would obtain a shopping cart when entering the store, push the cart to the sporting goods section where he would obtain a zip shut cooler. He would then go to the electronics section where he would take items off the pegs and fill the cooler. Dodson would then take the cart to the garden center area where he would throw the cooler over the fence. He would leave the store empty-handed and pick up the cooler full of the stolen electronic items in the parking lot and drive off in his pickup truck. Green says on some occasions Dodson had someone else drive his truck. The accomplice has not yet been identified.
A loss prevention expert at the Salem Wal-mart who knew Dodson was wanted for the thefts called Green Wednesday afternoon when spotting Dodson enter the store. They then allegedly watched Dodson go through the theft routine before taking him into custody. In addition to the incident on Wednesday, Dodson was charged with the earlier theft at the Salem store on October 8th.
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