TAMARAC, Fla. - A mother and son from Tamarac were arrested after they allegedly stole millions of dollars worth of toys and games from retailers nationwide.
Ignatius Michael Pollara and his mother, Margaret Pollara, have been charged with Organized Scheme to Defraud, Grand Theft, and Criminal conspiracy.
Detectives said the scheme, called "box stuffing," was well-organized.
Ignatius Pollara, who went by his middle name Michael, would allegedly empty a box containing an inexpensive item and hide the item in the store. Detectives said he then would place a more expensive item inside the empty box. When he proceeded to the cash register, he would be charged for the cheaper item.
"Michael traveled the entire country doing this. He was a one-man wrecking crew," said Broward Sheriff's Office Sgt. Rick Rossman.
Investigators believe Pollara has been in 139 Toys R Us locations across 27 states, but stole from various other retailers as well. They believe his mother would help sell the more expensive, stolen goods online.
Detectives were tipped off to the alleged crime by a suspicious Toys R Us employee in Boynton Beach.
Toys R Us alone reported losses up to $2 million. As of late Friday, no other retailers had commented on their losses.
Police said the toys and games recovered from Pollara's home will likely be donated to charity.