Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Police are on the lookout for a Pima man for stealing PlayStation 4 controllers from Walmart and selling some of them to GameStop.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Police are on the lookout for Jose H.P. Contreras, 19, of Pima, after surveillance footage showed him reportedly stealing Sony PlayStation 4 controllers from Walmart and selling them to GameStop across the street.
On Wednesday, Oct. 9, an officer was initially dispatched at 6:46 p.m. to Walmart at 755 S. 20th Ave. regarding the theft of eight PlayStation 4 controllers valued at $409.87. The controllers were described as being two magma red, two gold, two green camouflage, and one jet black.
In the surveillance footage from Walmart, two subjects were seen tearing the controller packages from the locking mechanism in the electronics department. Seven empty boxes were recovered in the clothing section with the eighth box not being found. The first subject was later identified as Contreras, and the second subject is believed to possibly be his brother, but a positive identification was not made.
During the investigation, the asset protection employee told the officer that another Walmart employee who is in connection with an employee at GameStop advised that a male subject sold PlayStation 4 controllers to that store the same day as the theft.
On Thursday, Oct. 10, the officer followed up at GameStop at 2021 W. U.S. Highway 70 and saw surveillance footage of the same male in the Walmart footage.
According to the GameStop employee, the male, later identified as Contreras by his driver’s license, attempted to sell eight PlayStation 4 controllers. He was initially denied the sale due to not having any identification but returned with his driver’s license. The GameStop employee advised she suspected the controllers might have been stolen, so she took a picture of the ID prior to purchasing four of the eight controllers for $57.60. The controllers purchased were two gold, one magma red, and one camouflage. The exchange was made less than 15 minutes after the controllers being stolen from Walmart, according to timestamps on both sets of surveillance footage.
The officer attempted to make contact with Contreras at his listed address in Pima, but an older male subject advised Contreras was at work. The officer told the man (believed to be Contreras’ father) that Jose needed to contact the officer immediately. As of the release of the report Monday, Contreras had not contacted the officer.
The officer noted that due to the evidence that Contreras committed shoplifting at Walmart and then trafficked the stolen goods by selling half of them to GameStop. He advised he would send his report to prosecutors for review and charging.