The Broward County Sheriff's Office said Ignatius "Michael" Pollara, 46, and his mother, Margaret Pollara, 70, were arrested Thursday and charged with more than a dozen counts of grand theft and petit theft for alleged crimes committed in Florida since June 1, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Monday.
Investigators said Pollara has been shoplifting for 10 years by purchasing cheap large items and hiding smaller, more expensive items in the boxes. The sheriff's office said Pollara made millions of dollars by selling the items on eBay but spent most of his proceeds on traveling the country and abroad where he would commit more thefts.
"He made it a goal of his to steal from all 50 states within one year, which he was very proud of and he did accomplish," sheriff's Sgt. Rich Rossman said.
Investigators said they were able to identify several of Pollara's crimes by tracking his rewards card usage.
"One of the things he would do was he would use a reward card," Rossman said. "Obviously, for his small-ticket item, he still wanted to get his reward points and that was his downfall."
Michael Pollara was taken to the Broward County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bond while Margaret Pollara was jailed on $29,100 bond. Investigators said they expect to arrest at least one more alleged accomplice.