Woman allegedly steals almost $1,800 from Walmart by swapping barcodes

Published 10:11 am Saturday, August 17, 2019

Kristina Marie Rembao, 33, of Adams was charged with felony theft by swindle on Thursday in Mower County District Court.

According to the court complaint, an officer was dispatched on June 8 to the Austin Walmart regarding a theft report. He met with asset protection employees and learned they had been investigating thefts by “sticker switching,” which undervalued items at the customer self-checkout registers. During an inventory count, one of the employees learned that the quantity of Palmolive Hand Soap did not match the actual on-hand quantity. He then found approximately 21 transactions involving large quantities of Palmolive Hand Soap, as well as four other lower priced products that involved the same type of theft.

The employee viewed surveillance footage of suspicious transactions and observed a white female, later identified as Rembao, making the fraudulent purchases. He also learned that several other stores in the area had reported similar thefts and that Rembao had been charged in an Olmsted County case. He then reviewed video of every purchase and compared the items to the item that was actually taken by Rembao. From March 23 through May 21, the total taken was $1,798.63 involving 356 items.

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A detective made contact with Rembao at her residence in Adams. When told she was on video at Walmart purchasing items using barcodes from cheaper items, Rembao said she “messed up big time” and asked if she was looking at much jail time.

Rembao will appear in court again on Aug. 22.