Man accused of defrauding Walmart stores across AR, MO

Man accused of defrauding Walmart stores across AR, MO
Florian Muntean (Source: St. Francois County Sheriff's Dept.)
Florian Muntean (Source: St. Francois County Sheriff's Dept.)

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A man faces burglary and theft charges after police say he scammed Walmart stores from Arkansas to Missouri out of a lot of money.

An Independence County judge found probable cause Tuesday to arrest 36-year-old Florian Muntean.

According to court documents, Muntean is accused of stealing $1,900 from the Batesville Walmart in an elaborate scam.

On July 6, Greg Sims, an asset protection employee with the store, contacted police to report the alleged theft.

Sims told Officer Kody Headley that he received an email from another Walmart store about a man going to different Walmarts and scamming them.

As Sims was showing the suspect's photo to store employees, he said a worker told him they had sold merchandise to the suspect earlier in the day.

Surveillance video showed the suspect purchasing laptop computers and "conducting a scam while checking out and not fully paying for the merchandise by taking back some of the money while the cashier was distracted," the affidavit stated.

An audit of the cash register showed it to be short $1,900.

Sims told Headley he later heard from Walmart Asset Protection in Farmington, MO, that they had stopped a man who had refunded two laptop computers purchased at the Batesville store.

After receiving video from the Batesville store, police in Missouri confirmed that the suspect was the same person they had stopped.

"The officer noted that he identified the suspect as Florian Muntean and advised that he was wearing the same clothing in the photograph that he was wearing during his encounter with him," the court documents said.

Muntean is currently being held in the St. Francois County (MO) Jail.

Further investigation, according to the affidavit, revealed that Muntean and several others had conducted similar "thefts by scam" at Walmart stores in Arkansas and other states.

The court document also noted that Muntean had been charged in Trumann for a similar theft.

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