Apple Bandits Strike Walmart Stores in Virginia, Swipe Over $100,000 in Merchandise!

Apple Bandits Strike Walmart Stores in Virginia, Swipe Over $100,000 in Merchandise!

In a series of audacious heists, suspects disguised as Walmart employees successfully stole over $100,000 worth of Apple products across various locations in Virginia. The orchestrated crime spree involved at least three individuals, leaving law enforcement agencies in pursuit.

The saga began on January 4, when three suspects entered the Walmart on 632 Grassfield Pkwy., Chesapeake, using a tool to open casings holding Apple products. They escaped with approximately $38,000 worth of merchandise, leaving law enforcement with a complex puzzle to unravel.

Walmart’s Senior Manager for Global Investigations, Jeff Meyer, played a pivotal role in connecting the dots. After identifying the suspects involved in the Chesapeake heist, Meyer linked them to similar thefts in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Yorktown, and South Hill, Virginia, between December and January.

Descriptions provided by Meyer helped identify the suspects—Taeyon McClease, confirmed to be Tony’s brother with a prior arrest record, Tony McClease, and Alexander Newman. The latter two were also identified in connection to thefts in Roxboro, N.C.

Ariana Orkney was identified as the owner of the 2006 Ford F150 used as the getaway vehicle. The truck, purchased on August 26, still maintained its Texas plates.

A traffic stop on the F150 led to Tony’s arrest, with police finding a narcotic, two cell phones, a gun, and an Apple iPad box matching the serial number of a stolen product. The truck, seen at a U-Haul facility, raised suspicions of stolen goods storage.

RICHMOND HILL, CANADA – APRIL 6, 2020: Shoppers line outside a Walmart store in Ontario.

A subsequent search warrant on the F150 revealed Orkney’s vehicle title, a U-Haul receipt, a pair of black-rimmed glasses, a black medical mask, clothing matching suspect descriptions, a crowbar, screwdrivers, Walmart smocks, and a Walmart ID badge. While charges for the Chesapeake Walmart thefts are pending, Tony is currently facing charges for a theft at a Norfolk Walmart.

The suspects’ coordinated efforts across multiple Walmart locations point to a larger, well-organized operation. The impact on Walmart’s inventory exceeds $100,000, leaving the retail giant and law enforcement agencies grappling with the aftermath of these calculated thefts.

Both Tony and Newman are still wanted in Roxboro, N.C., with outstanding warrants. Tony’s identification was aided by tattoos matching prior booking photos, and Newman was identified after his mask fell off during a previous heist.

As law enforcement agencies continue their investigation into this intricate web of thefts, the suspects, identified and connected through astute detective work, face impending charges for their roles in pilfering Apple products from Walmart stores across Virginia.

The stolen merchandise, recovered during the investigation, serves as a testament to the determination of investigators to bring these criminals to justice. In the wake of these events, Walmart is likely to bolster its security measures, and local communities await the resolution of charges against the perpetrators.

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The orchestrated heists, resembling scenes from a Hollywood movie, have underscored the need for enhanced vigilance and collaboration between retailers and law enforcement to thwart such criminal endeavors.

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