SAN JOSE – 49-year-old Walter William Garcia on April 11, 2013 was arrested for second degree burglary under PC 459/460(b). Garcia entered the Microsoft Store located at 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd with the attempt to commit theft by using a forged check to purchase items from the store. This was an ongoing process by the defendant as he passed fraudulent checks for high priced items starting in March and ended four months later in January of 2013.
During his crime spree Garcia had continually written fraudulent checks to the Microsoft retail store at the Valley Fair Mall for more than $13,929.82, were he would then take the stolen items to other Microsoft retail stores in Palo Alto and San Francisco and return them for cash. According to MicrosoftStore.com, “Eligible returns and exchanges must be accompanied by the original receipt or gift receipt.”
Court documents reveal that the first check purchased several items in the amount of $1560. Then a second check was used in the amount of $1,633.16 three days later on April 08, 2013. Video surveillance and pictures of Garcia making a transaction were provided to the San Jose Police Department that identifies Garcia as passing checks under a fraudulent Wells Fargo Account.
Garcia is being charged with entering the Microsoft store with the intent to commit forgery and second degree burglary. The District Attorney’s office has currently charged Garcia with a 36 counts of Second Degree Burglary and Check Fraud. According to Lisa McCrary, Senior Paralegal/Ombudsman with the Public Information Services of the District Attorney’s Office said, “Garcia is scheduled for sentencing and probation on May 14, 2013 at 9:00 in dept. 24.”
According to the San Jose Police report, “The suspect then advised us he had purchased the checks from an unknown supplier from the internet.” He had refused to address the investigating officers with further details about the case and was arrested and transported and booked into the county jail on 17 counts of writing bad checks, and 17 counts of burglary.
Retail investigators contacted Microsoft Corp Global Security was conducting an investigation into Garcia for purchasing merchandise from the store and also suspected of him passing similar checks in Palo Alto and San Francisco with a total documented cost of $28, 291.47.
An internal security bulletin was reported to employees who were told to call 9-1-1 dispatchers if they had spotted the suspect at their store. The suspect was recognized by one of the employees at Valley Fair Mall and believes he had used other names to make exchanges and returns.
The total amount over the four month period included: $978.42, $978.42, $1,285, $349.18, $1,227.97, $561.58, $1,424.90, $566.58, $705.78, $755.00, $87,97, $1,414.05, $1,515.74, $653.68, $733.29,$ 839.99, $829.80, and $600.27 or a total of $9,630.23 respectively.
The total amount of goods purchased thru the use of fraudulent checks by Garcia during his crime spree ranged from $9,630.23 to more than $28,291.47 as recorded by authorities.