WATERVILLE — Police allege that Amy Marmanik’s scheme to go into big box stores, take pricey items off the shelf and try to return them at the customer service desk worked — to a point.
She was given gift cards for the value of the items, but she also got a ride to jail after she was caught, police said.
Marmanik, 24, of 9 Lipman Road, Augusta, was arrested Monday after she reportedly took a combination child stroller/car seat from Walmart in Waterville and went to the customer service desk to return it, according to Deputy police Chief Charles Rumsey. She was issued a gift card worth $220 from the service desk, the value of the stroller, he said. He said she attempted a similar theft at nearby Home Depot.
Rumsey said Marmanik doesn’t appear to have a specific connection to Waterville.
“She told us she was just taking the bus from Presque Isle to Augusta,” Rumsey said. “For whatever reason, she got off the bus in Waterville and decided to do some stealing.”
Walmart store security officials told police they followed her out of the store and she ran into the nearby Home Depot store. As police Officer Steve Brame headed to Home Depot, Walmart security officials reported seeing her come out of Home Depot and run around the back of the store near Interstate 95, Rumsey said.
Marmanik ran into the woods and Brame chased her, caught up with her, arrested her and charged her with one count of class C felony theft by deception for the Walmart incident. He also took her to the police station.
The theft charge was a felony because she had prior theft convictions, Rumsey said. Brame also charged her with violation of conditions of release because she was out on bail from a theft charge in another town. She also was on probation for theft, so Brame charged her with violation of probation, Rumsey said. She was taken to Kennebec County jail in Augusta.
Meanwhile, Brame interviewed Home Depot employees and learned that 15 minutes before police got a call from Walmart Marmanik had been given a $315 gift card at Home Depot in a similar scheme.
She had gone to Home Depot, had a store employee help her load a compressor worth $315 into a cart, and then she it to the service desk and said she was returning it for her boyfriend, Rumsey said.
“This morning, after Steve got that information, he went to Kennebec County jail and charged her with another class C felony theft by deception,” Rumsey said.
In all, Marmanik is charged with two counts of class C felony theft by deception, one count of violation of conditions of release and probation violation, according to Rumsey. She is scheduled to appear in Kennebec County Superior Court March 11, he said.