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Man Charged In Theft From Westport Stop & Shop

WESTPORT, Conn. – A 50-year-old Bridgeport man was accused of shoplifting in Westport on Saturday after more than $100 in goods was stolen from Stop & Shop, police said.

Police were called to the store at 1790 Post Road E., on a report that a man had left the store without paying for the items in his shopping cart, the report said.

When approached by a Stop & Shop employee, the suspect reportedly grabbed his bags of groceries and ran across the parking lot towards the bus stop, Stop & Shop employees told police. The suspect then ran across Post Road East and eventually dropped the groceries near Jordan’s Pizza, 1759 Post Road E., employees told police.

The stolen groceries totaled more than $31 and included a six-pack of Budweiser beer, a package of onion rings, a Gatorade, two Butterfingers and two packages of popcorn shrimp, police said.

Later, an officer saw a man matching the description of the suspect sitting at the bus stop in front of Stop & Shop, the police report said. A store employee was brought to the bus stop and positively identified the man as the suspect, police said.

The suspect, identified as Joseph Dennis, was taken into custody and charged with sixth-degree larceny, a misdemeanor.

In viewing store surveillance, police later discovered that Dennis had also stolen six large bottles of Nestle Purewater, valued at $5.99 each, earlier in the day, according to the report. A short while after, Dennis was seen on video re-entering the store with six empty bottles, which he redeemed for $6 each at the customer service counter, police said. This resulted in a store loss of nearly $72, police said.

When Dennis was arrested, he was found in possession of $31 cash and four lotto tickets worth $5, which he purchased at the store using the $36 he received in bottle deposits, police said.

Between the bag of groceries, the six water bottles and the money Dennis received by redeeming the water bottles for cash, more than $100 was stolen from the store. Dennis was released on a promise to appear at Norwalk Superior Court on June 25.

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