WATERVILLE — Police have accused an Augusta woman in a scheme to go into big-box stores, take pricey items off the shelves and return them as purchases.

Amy Marmanik, 24, of 9 Lipman Road, was arrested Monday after police say she 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 – the value of the stroller – by the service desk, he said.

Rumsey said she is charged in connection with a similar theft at nearby Home Depot.

Marmanik doesn’t appear to have a specific connection to Waterville, Rumsey said.

“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 and arrested her. 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 took it to the service desk and said she was returning it for her boyfriend, 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 a probation violation, according to Rumsey. Marmanik was out on bail from a theft charge in another town and was on probation for theft, Rumsey said.

She is scheduled to appear in Kennebec County Superior Court on March 11, he said.

 

Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at acalder@centralmaine.com

Twitter: @AmyCalder17