Darien Whole Foods employee arrested for stealing pocketbook

A Whole Foods employee was arrested for stealing a woman’s pocketbook and credit card while she dined at Whole Foods on Dec. 16 last year. Police said Robert Simmons, 44, Of Greenwich, was working as a maintenance employee when he was caught on camera taking the purse from a chair after the woman left it there by accident.

Simmons turned himself in to police after a warrant was issued for his arrest on third-degree larceny charges and credit card theft.

Police said the woman had left her pocketbook hanging on the back of the chair when she left the store. When she returned to retrieve it, it was missing and store management did not have it either. The total value of the pocketbook and its content was estimated at $2,300, according to police.

Review of the store’s surveillance showed the theft was recorded, police said, and management was able to identify the perpetrator as Simmons. Simmons has court on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Simmons is not the first Ledge Road Whole Foods employee to be charged with a crime in Darien. Last March, Daniel Contreras, Greenwich man, was charged for stealing an iPad from a shopping cart and then hiding it under an orange traffic cone. The tablet computer was later found using a locating application tethered to an iPhone. At the time of the theft, police said Contreras was in charge of the parking lot shopping carts.

That same week, a Whole Foods cashier was arrested for stealing more than $4,500 through a return scheme. Police said the woman, Jessica Wilson, of Stamford, was working as a cashier and over a period of 14 months she continued to take items off the shelves, return them and pocket the cash.

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