A 48-year-old San Diego man is suspected in a string of "push-out" electronics burglaries reported over several months at Walmarts in Murrieta and Temecula.
Gerald Jerome Murray was arrested the morning of Jan. 30 when Murrieta police detectives served a warrant at his residence in the 5800 block of Andros Court in San Diego, according to sheriff's jail records and the warrant obtained by Patch.
The Murrieta burglary occurred on Oct. 24, 2012, but was not reported until Nov. 16, 2012 when Walmart loss prevention staff were notified of a similar incident at Walmart in Temecula, Murrieta police Detective Spencer Parker wrote in a warrant to search Murray's residence.
During the Murrieta incident, Walmart staff told police two black men had entered the store and that one man, described as a "very large black male," removed a large, flat screen TV and a computer from shelves. They placed the items in a shopping cart and left the store without paying, Parker wrote.
Upon speaking with a counterpart at the Temecula Walmart on Nov. 16, the Murrieta staff member said they were told a similar incident had just occurred in Temecula.
"...The male suspects loaded a shopping cart with a high-definition TV, exited the store without paying for the item, and got into a silver Lincoln Navigator," Parker wrote.
Loss prevention staff from Temecula showed Parker surveillance footage of two additional, similar thefts that occurred on Sept. 19, 2012 and Dec. 24, 2012. Each time, the suspects were seen leaving in the same Lincoln Navigator.
After comparing surveillance footage with Murray's DMV photo—he was listed as the registered owner of the Navigator—Parker wrote he and the investigating officer believed Murray was one of the suspects in the thefts.
Articles of clothing such as a white polo shirt and a green Miami Dolphins jersey Murray was allegedly seen wearing in surveillance footage were recovered from his residence, Parker wrote.
Five baggies of methamphetamine and one baggie of cocaine were also allegedly found during a search of Murray's San Diego residence, though the electronics in question were not located, according to court records.
Murray, 6 feet 8 inches tall and 300 pounds, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, court records show.
He was released on $30,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court March 13.
The Murrieta Police Department is pursuing second-degree burglary charges against Murray; however court records as of Friday did not indicate whether the Riverside County District Attorney's Office had filed those charges.
Temecula police are also conducting an investigation into the thefts, Parker wrote.
Murray was previously arrested in October 2012 by San Diego police detectives on suspicion of various drug-related charges.