Real Life Somerville Police Stories:Joao FERNANDES (Larceny, Larceny by Scheme) Shoplifting at Home Depot 


The following is a summary of the details related to this incident.


     On April 3, 2016 at approximately 13:13 hours, while assigned as marked unit Alpha-1, I was dispatched to Home Depot for a report of a shoplifter in the office. I arrived on location along with East-1 Officer Catatao and was met by Home Depot loss prevention associate XXXXX. XXXXX informed me that he was monitoring a male inside of his store, later identified as Joao Fernandes, who he had become familiar with over the past several months. XXXXX informed me that today Fernandes had entered the store, removed the Universal Product Code labels from two wooden stair banisters valued at $91.34 each and replaced them with Universal Product Code labels of a product valued at $8.63. XXXXX stated that Fernandes then proceeded to select a box from a store shelf containing 20 pieces of corner flashing valued at $8.98 each. Fernandes opened the box containing these items, removed the Universal Product Code label from one of these pieces and placed it on the outside of the box (it should be noted that these products are either sold individually for $8.98 each or by the box for $179.60). Fenandes then went to the checkout cashier and due to his altering of the Universal Product Code labels paid $17.26 for the two wooden banisters originally valued at $182.68 and $8.98 for the box of corner flashings originally valued at $179.60. Fernandes then proceeded to the return desk and returned the items for full value resulting in a total store loss of $336.04.


     Home Depot loss prevention associate XXXXX informed me that he has become aware of Joao Fernandes during the course of his duties over the last several months. He stated that he believes Fernandes has engaged in this same practice of altering and swapping Universal Product Code labels numerous times in the Somerville Home Depot as well as Home Depots in the surrounding areas. XXXXX stated that he has been coordinating with Home Depot management as well as loss prevention officers from other surrounding Home Depots in attempt to put together information related to other possible thefts Fernandes has been involved in. A query of Fernandes’ name in Home Depot’s internal system, which tracks returns by the license provided by the individual returning the items, shows that since 09/28/2011 Fernandes has made 27 returns for which he did not provide a receipt totaling $6,462.73.


     I read Fernandes his Miranda Rights before interviewing him in the loss prevention office. Fernandes did not provide any information or details related to this incident or his possible involvement in any past incidents. Based on the information provided to me by loss prevention associate XXXXX related to the incident which occurred today, Joao Fernandes was placed under arrest and charged with violation of M.G.L. ch. 266 §30C Retail Receipt/Price Tag Fraud. Unit #200 operated by Officer Kim was contacted and Fernandes was transported to Somerville Police Headquarters where he was booked by Lt. Rymill. 


Respectfully submitted,


Officer Anderson #315

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