James S. Accatino, 24, and James R. Wolfertz, 23, both of Stroudsburg, and Richard L. Braun Jr., 23, of East Stroudsburg, turned themselves in Thursday and are charged with theft and criminal conspiracy. Accatino is charged also with having drugs and paraphernalia after a pipe and small amount of marijuana were found in the vehicle used to conceal the stolen merchandise.
On April 30, Weis loss prevention specialists reviewing night-time in-house surveillance tapes observed three night-shift employees, later identified as Accatino, Wolfertz and Braun, taking cartons of cigarettes from the customer service counter, placing them in plastic bags, leaving them near a back door and then loading them into a vehicle owned by one of the three.
The loss prevention specialists reviewed older tapes and found the trio had been doing this in the past.
On May 7, specialists set up a surveillance team and caught the defendants concealing three garbage bags full of cigarette cartons in a vehicle. The total retail value of the contents in the garbage bags was $5,920.84.
Stroud Area Regional Police were contacted, arrested the trio and took them before East Stroudsburg Magisterial District Judge Michael Muth for arraignments on charges. Braun and Wolfertz were released on $5,000 unsecured bail and Accatino on $6,000 unsecured bail.
All three will appear again before Muth in the future for preliminary hearings.