Merced man forgets wallet in store, woman and young boy caught on camera stealing it

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Merced man left his wallet in a Staples store and when he returned to see if it had been found he learns a young boy and a woman had taken it. (KFSN)

When a Merced man accidentally left his wallet inside a Staples store this week he thought a Good Samaritan may have turned it into a manager. But surveillance video inside the store painted an entirely different story.

The visit to Staples was rough from the start-- several printers were down and when Adolfo Sanchez finally gave up and walked out he left an important item behind.

"I realized I didn't have my wallet when I sat down and I didn't feel it. So, I came back to the store and it was gone, nobody knew anything about it."

So Sanchez asked an employee to show him surveillance video. And sure enough, two people walked into frame, a woman and a younger boy.

"He looked pretty much like a 12-year-old boy, they both got close to it, looked around, and finally the boy took the wallet."

Sanchez said the two went on such a huge shopping spree with his cards his bank immediately sent him text alerts. Telling him they hit up at least five stores-- from Walmart to Best Buy.

"It's sad that an older person is teaching this younger boy it's okay to take somebody else's wallet. It's totally wrong."

Merced Police said they are investigating, and in this case, the kid may be considered a victim too. Officers said if the adult put the child at risk, the charges could be more than just petty theft. The woman could be contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

"Hopefully, he doesn't take it in as the right thing to do, find something, grab it, and hide it," said Sanchez.

Sanchez said more than his wallet, he hopes the incident will have other adults think twice before putting their kids in a similar situation.

"Hopefully, she learns a big lesson, that you don't do that to a youngster, telling him it's alright to do the wrong thing."

Sanchez said the suspects tried buying more than $400 worth of merchandise from Walmart, but luckily the transaction didn't go through.

Anyone with information is asked to call Merced Police.
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