Mount Pleasant police say a Chicago couple who had previously gotten away twice from Best Buy with big ticket items were planning a third try when they were taken into custody.
Henry Szczawinski, 49, and Barbara Kwiatkowki, 49, were charged Monday in Racine County Circuit Court with two counts each of felony retail theft. If convicted, they each face up to seven years in jail and/or up to $20,000 in fines.
According to their criminal complaints, Szczawinski and Kwiatkowki were captured on video surveillance from Best Buy, 2710 S. Green Bay Road, on two different dates stealing high-priced electronics they carried away on their persons. During each incident, Szczawinski would select an item and Kwiatkowki would approach him, then face him standing just a few inches apart. Moments later, the couple would leave the store with the items hidden.
Police say the defendants on Sept. 6 took a Samsung Galaxy worth $440.00 and two, GPS Forerunner watches worth $449.98 together. The couple returned to Best Buy on Oct. 23 and got away with two, Bose headphones worth $299.99 each, one Bose Sound Link priced at $249.99, and two, Pebble fitness watches worth $199.99 each. During the October visit to the store, security could see Szczawinski place the items inside the unzipped vest Kwiatkowski was wearing.
After store security reviewed surveillance of each of the dates in question, they called Mount Pleasant police to make an official report, the complaint reads.
On Saturday, officers say Szczawinski and Kwiatkowski walked into Best Buy again, but this time were taken into custody when store employees recognized the pair from their earlier visits.
During their initial appearance Monday, both Szczawinski and Kwiatkowski were given $2,500 cash bonds, but only Kwiatkowki remained in the Racine County Jail Monday night. They will both be in court Dec. 30 for their preliminary hearings.