Man says he “forgot” to pay for stolen merchandise at Walmart

Vero Beach man says he forgot to pay for stolen merchandise after walking out of the store.
Vero Beach man says he forgot to pay for stolen merchandise after walking out of the store.

VERO BEACH – A Walmart shopper who switched his old shoes for a new pair, concealed two pairs of earphones and two bottles of BBQ sauce, told deputies he “forgot” about paying for the stolen merchandise, according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

A loss prevention officer at the Walmart store in Vero Beach observed the man conceal the items and watched him pay for a deli plate and a drink.

Christopher Stephan Mattes, 30, of Vero Beach, was seen entering Walmart on Monday at approximately 3:00 pm. Mattes was being observed by a loss prevention officer as he walked around the store.

Mattes first made a suspicious return at the customer service desk, then selected two pairs of earphones in the electronics department. Mattes then walked to the shoe department where he selected a new pair of shoes, then replaced them with his old pair on the shelf. Mattes wore the new shoes as he went to the deli area where he paid for a deli plate and a drink, according to the arrest affidavit.

“Mattes then exited through the grocery doors, passing all points of sale and making no attempt to pay,” the deputy said.

When Mattes saw a deputy and the loss prevention officer approaching him, he spontaneously stated that “I forgot about those, I can pay for those right now,” the affidavit said.

Mattes was charged with Shoplifting and transported to the Indian River County Jail. Since Matte’s driver’s license is suspended, and he was seen driving the vehicle on surveillance video, he was also charged with Felony Drive W/Suspended License.

Mattes is still being held on $3,000 bond.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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About Jennifer Balakrishnan
Jennifer Balakrishnan lives in Vero Beach, Florida. She moved to Indian River County when she was 6-years-old. Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree at Florida State University. She writes our crime stories and is one of our food/restaurant critics.