John Patrick Weismiller will have a hard time putting his sticky fingers to use at his next destination – behind bars.
The 41-year-old Woodburn, Ore., man, described by prosecutors as a “professional shoplifter” who stole from Safeway stores in Oregon and Washington more than a hundred times, has been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison.
Authorities said Weismiller shoplifted everything from Crest teeth-whitening strips to Oil of Olay creams at stores such as Safeway, Target and Best Buy – usually by stuffing the products under his clothing – and then sold the items on eBay at half price under the handle “myotherjob2001.”
Authorities say he pocketed $43,200 off shoplifted goods between January and July 2011. That translated into more than $73,000 in losses to the stores.
“This guy was incredibly brazen,” FBI Special Agent Joe Boyer in Portland said in a statement Tuesday. “He was making his living doing this. This was his full-time job. He lived in a nice house in the suburbs with his wife and kids. If you lived next door, you would have no idea he was a thief.”
Weismiller pleaded guilty to interstate transport of stolen goods and was sentenced last month by U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman in Portland, Ore., according to The Oregonian. After his prison sentence he must serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution of nearly $21,000.
Safeway’s loss-prevention team documented Weismiller stealing merchandise from its stores 105 times in early 2011, according to the FBI.
Boyer said most professional shoplifters, also known as “boosters,” have little fear of going to jail because their crimes are nonviolent. They are usually slapped with a fine and released.
“The fact that Weismiller is now in prison should send a message to other boosters who think they are flying under the legal radar: The FBI is serious about these crimes, and professional shoplifters will end up behind bars,” he said in a statement.
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