Toys"R"Us CRM Foils Another Perfectly Good Theft, After He Takes $2 Million From 139 Stores

Being greedy is the telltale sign of a good professional thief, but there are limits. And a pair of shoplifters this week learned that if you're going to steal $2 million worth of toys from Toys"R"Us—specifically, from 139 stores in 27 states—it's best to not use a loyalty card. Yes, it was that CRM card that led police to our duo.

Granted, these aren't the first thieves to be done in by those not-so-loyal cards—a Sears associate got zapped last year—but they are among the best. Seems that Michael Pollara of Florida was hitting quite a few Toys"R"Us stores using the ever-popular box stuffing trick (take a big box with a cheap item in it and replace the contents with something much more expensive). The case was cold, because authorities could not find video of Pollara doing the switch. But a Toys"R"Us loss prevention investigator, Patrick Fairley, got a break on May 9.

One of the stolen items, a specific box of Lego's, just happened to have only been sold once and that consumer used his CRM card, according to the police report from the Broward County Sheriff's Office. A check of the CRM records showed purchases in 139 different Toys"R"Us locations across many states.

Fairley, who worked with his mother, then converted the stolen items into cash by selling them on eBay. (eBay, Where America Fences.) Police went online and purchased one of the items from him and placed surveillance on the return address.

Not only have police accused him of an impressively high number of Toys"R"Us thefts, but he also was accused of hitting KMart, CVS, Walmart, Michael's, Office Depot, Books-a-Million, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Staples, Barnes & Noble, JCPenney, Hallmark, Home Depot and Jo Ann Fabrics.

Come to think of it, maybe this guy should be using his loyalty card.