Alleged shoplifter made well-worn path to returns desk

It took at least 90 trips to the returns desk for a Pennsylvania man accused of shoplifting to steal $70,000 worth of merchandise from Home Depot and Lowe’s stores in Allegheny County, according to a criminal complaint filed by the state’s Attorney General’s office. 

Authorities are still looking for Jason Novak, whom they accuse of stealing merchandise, returning it for store credit, and then selling the gift cards on craigslist for 60% of their value. 

Novak would fill a shopping cart with high-priced items such as range hoods, carpets and sinks, take them to the returns desk, and present false identification to conduct the transaction, according to the attorney general’s office. Investigators believe that Novak used at least 35 different Pennsylvania driver’s licenses. 

Home Depot and Lowe’s were the victims of the theft. Authorities said that Novak used his shoplifting scheme at least 40 times at Home Depot and 50 times at Lowe’s.

Novak has been charged with multiple counts of retail and identity theft, forgery and criminal use of a communications facility. Agents who executed a search warrant on Novak’s house recovered 11 fake Pennsylvania IDs, computers and other electronic items.

The U.S. Postal Service and the McCandless Township Police Department assisted in the investigation.

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