The eye in the sky finally led to the arrest of a persistent thief who was able to get away with his crimes for several months until Walmart security figured out his identity.
The suspect, Randy Allen Caldwell, 47, of Smithville is charged with theft of property over $1,000 for a rash of shoplifting incidents that transpired over a four-month period at the local Walmart.
According to Greg Pescevic of Walmart security, the man was first seen stealing items from the retailer on Nov. 14 of last year when he loaded up a tote full of sporting good items and tools worth an estimated $398. He next hit Dec. 4 and took a gas-powered mini bike, placing it in a cart and walking it out the garden center door without paying. That hit is estimated to be worth around $500.
On the morning of Feb. 15, he went to the tool department and placed a Bostitch tool set in his cart and rolled it out the door without paying. He did a double dip that day, returning before lunch to steal more tools, this time with another man. Video shows him pulling his vehicle to the general merchandise door and loading the stolen items.
Walmart estimates Caldwell stole $1,725 worth of items during his numerous trips to the store.
The delay in charging him, police say, was because security had to first positively identify him from the video before they were able to take out warrants.