Man steals woman’s cash at Walmart

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: A man stole $60 a woman requested in cash back from a debit card purchase after she accidentally left the cash in the machine. The perpetrator was identified and the money was returned to the victim.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Whatever happened to common decency?

A woman in a self-checkout at Walmart requested $60 cash back from her debit card purchase Saturday and then accidentally forgot it in the machine.

The next customer, Matthew Beard, took the money from the dispenser, showed it to a woman he was with and then pocketed it. He did not attempt to return the money to the woman or turn it in to a Walmart employee, according to store surveillance footage.

The victim soon returned to the checkout line after realizing her mistake but was told nobody had turned in the money. 

Fortunately for the debit card owner, Beard had been in the layaway department earlier and the store associate not only knew his name but also had his phone number.

The victim was informed of what was learned and she stated she just wanted her money back and did not want to press charges of theft.

The officer then called Beard, who admitted taking the money and said he did so because he thought the Walmart employee would have just pocketed it if he had turned it into the store. Apparently, Beard did not realize the broad spectrum of surveillance cameras, especially at the checkout area, and what they can see and record. It also apparently did not dawn on him that perhaps the employee wasn’t dishonest or – at the very least – probably did not wish to risk being fired over $60. 

Beard then met with the officer at a gas station in Pima and gave him the money, which the officer then returned to the victim.