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Mother and Son Tandem Arrested for $2 Million in Toy Thefts
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In one of the most interesting and disheartening crime stories of all-time, a mother and son tandem hailing from Tamarac, Florida, have been accused of stealing over $2 million in toys from Toys ‘R’ Us. Ignatius ‘Michael’ Pollara, 46, and his mother, Margaret Pollara, 70, were arrested by the Broward Sheriff’s Organized Retail Crimes Unit on Thursday of last week. The crimes committed by the son were described as egregious by Sgt. Rich Rossman.

“He made it a goal of his to steal from all 50 states within one year, which he was very proud of and he did accomplish,” Sgt. Rossman said. Rossman also said that the mother and son tandem used ‘box stuffing’ in order to steal the toys from the stores.

  
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The mother and son tandem worked with an accomplice most of the time. They would find an item in a large box at a cheap price, remove the item, and hide it somewhere in the store. They would then take smaller, higher priced items, and put them in the box. They would seal the box and pay the price on the box. The son would sell the toys on the Internet and use the money to travel expensively around the globe.

“He was proud of it. This is his job. I go to work with the Sheriff’s Office, he goes to work and steals,” Sgt. Rossman said. “He was due to leave Tuesday. He was going to Australia.”

Patrick Fairley, an investigator for Toys ‘R’ Us, said that the greed in the Pollaras was what helped catch them.

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“One of the things [Michael Pollara] would do was he would use a reward card,” Rossman said. “Obviously, for his small-ticket item, he still wanted to get his reward points and that was his downfall.”

The use of the reward card was tracked by Fairley. He discovered that Pollara spent over $6,700 on 175 purchases since May 9 at 139 stores in 27 states.



“Without a doubt this is the most prolific booster — the term for a shoplifter — that we’ve ever come across,” Sgt. Rossman said.

The son is being held on $318,000 bond as of Friday in the Broward County Main Jail. He faces charges of criminal conspiracy, grand theft, felony petty theft, dealing in stolen property and organized scheme to defraud. The mother is at a detention facility being held on $29,100 bail. She faces charges of petty theft, grand theft, organized scheme to defraud and criminal conspiracy.



 

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