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Man Suspected in String of Walmart TV Thefts

Gerald Jerome Murray, 48, of San Diego is suspected in connection with four thefts from Murrieta and Temecula Walmart stores in which electronics and TVs were taken from shelves, wheeled out in shopping carts and not paid for.

A 48-year-old San Diego man is suspected in a string of "push-out" electronics burglaries reported over several months at Walmarts in Murrieta and Temecula.

Gerald Jerome Murray was arrested the morning of Jan. 30 when Murrieta police detectives served a warrant at his residence in the 5800 block of Andros Court in San Diego, according to sheriff's jail records and the warrant obtained by Patch.

The Murrieta burglary occurred on Oct. 24, 2012, but was not reported until Nov. 16, 2012 when Walmart loss prevention staff were notified of a similar incident at Walmart in Temecula, Murrieta police Detective Spencer Parker wrote in a warrant to search Murray's residence.

During the Murrieta incident, Walmart staff told police two black men had entered the store and that one man, described as a "very large black male," removed a large, flat screen TV and a computer from shelves. They placed the items in a shopping cart and left the store without paying, Parker wrote.

Upon speaking with a counterpart at the Temecula Walmart on Nov. 16, the Murrieta staff member said they were told a similar incident had just occurred in Temecula.

"...The male suspects loaded a shopping cart with a high-definition TV, exited the store without paying for the item, and got into a silver Lincoln Navigator," Parker wrote.

Loss prevention staff from Temecula showed Parker surveillance footage of two additional, similar thefts that occurred on Sept. 19, 2012 and Dec. 24, 2012. Each time, the suspects were seen leaving in the same Lincoln Navigator.

After comparing surveillance footage with Murray's DMV photo—he was listed as the registered owner of the Navigator—Parker wrote he and the investigating officer believed Murray was one of the suspects in the thefts.

Articles of clothing such as a white polo shirt and a green Miami Dolphins jersey Murray was allegedly seen wearing in surveillance footage were recovered from his residence, Parker wrote.

Five baggies of methamphetamine and one baggie of cocaine were also allegedly found during a search of Murray's San Diego residence, though the electronics in question were not located, according to court records.

Murray, 6 feet 8 inches tall and 300 pounds, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, court records show.

He was released on $30,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court March 13.

The Murrieta Police Department is pursuing second-degree burglary charges against Murray; however court records as of Friday did not indicate whether the Riverside County District Attorney's Office had filed those charges.

Temecula police are also conducting an investigation into the thefts, Parker wrote.

Murray was previously arrested in October 2012 by San Diego police detectives on suspicion of various drug-related charges.

chuck2251 March 03, 2013 at 10:06 PM
WE HAVE BEEN WAITING SINCE MARCH TO MURRIETA PD ARREST THE SHOP LIFTERS THAT HIT OUR STORE..WE HAVE VIDEO AND 3 WITNESSES .JASON AND KRISTIN ARE FROM ESCONDIDO .A SAN DIEGO DETECTIVE CAUGHT KRISTIN AND SHE TOLD HIM THAT SHE HAD STOLEN FROM US.HE OFFERED TO HELP..
chuck2251 March 03, 2013 at 10:08 PM
so true.
Dog March 04, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Walmart let go all the senior citizen greeters and now no ones minding the front door...
Brenda March 04, 2013 at 05:27 PM
True that of course no one would have stopped this guy alone, but still could have approached him, made their presence known. He would have thought about it a few times if he knew someone was watching him who might have called security and/or the police. Had someone outside the front door to get vehicle license number, description, all sorts of things could have been done IF someone had noticed him. If they have done away with the door checkers on the way out, badddd Walmart. Also security should always be in or cameras on electronics in Walmart and they make enough money to have one just for that area. But they live and learn. People been taking high end electronics, big ones, out of department stores for years between their dang thighs so Walmart knows the drill.
Alek J Hidell March 06, 2013 at 11:45 PM
The bigger they are? the bigger the target... BANG

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