Police say heroin addict stole more than $17,000 from Sears
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | May 07,2013
A Rutland man’s supposed heroin addiction was the motivation for him to allegedly steal more than $17,000 from a department store in the Diamond Run Mall, according to court records.
Mitchell Gioffi, 27, pleaded innocent to the charge of embezzlement Monday morning for allegedly taking nearly 100 high-priced items from Sears at the mall over a two-month period.
According to court documents, the store’s operations manager had discovered significant discrepancies in the store’s inventory of high value items in early March. He told Rutland County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Andrew Cross that he, along with the company’s district loss prevention manager, looked at the surveillance system in the store’s lock up because a Nikon D3200 camera was missing.
“I discovered that Merchandise Pick Up Associate Mitchell Gioffi did remove a Nikon D3200 from the lock up and was never returned,” the manager wrote in a statement to police, adding that there had been no sale for the camera.
According to the affidavit, the store manager looked up further surveillance footage of Gioffi over two weeks and found that on several days in February and March, Gioffi was seen taking vacuums, TVs, Keurig coffeemakers and other boxes out of the merchandise pick up area, though there were no records of sales.
Cross wrote in the affidavit that Gioffi was interviewed by his employers during which time he “revealed that he had taken tablets, TVs, Blu-Ray players, Dyson vacuums, Keurig coffeemakers, shavers, K-cups, mattress padding, comforters, sheets, jeans and a camera lens from the store in the past several months.”
In a statement to police, Gioffi said he would sell the items because of his heroin addiction.
“I would try to get though the day without it but when you don’t have it your whole body hurts,” he wrote in the statement. He continued, “Then the drug is all I can think about and how can I get it. I would sneak things out of the store just to get unsick. If I didn’t know the code to the back door I wouldn’t have taken as much.”
The monetary total of the items Gioffi took was $17,247.
At criminal court Monday, Gioffi was released on conditions. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.