We understand the desire to redecorate, but just because your budget is low doesn’t mean you should try stealing yourself a new patio set. A New Jersey husband-and-wife team is accused of exploiting a website glitch in an effort to scam $258,000 worth of merchandise from Lowe’s, including a gazebo and lawn mower.
According to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation started after a Lowe’s Organized Retail Crime Manager brought the case to Brick Township police. He claimed that one of the suspects had exploited a glitch on the company’s website, and had managed to ship merchandise to their home for free.
She then allegedly posted several of her ill-gotten gains on local Facebook pages dedicated to buying and selling merchandise, listing items as “New In Box” for 50% off their original price.
Authorities executed a warrant on the couple’s home and found enough stolen merchandise to fill an 18-foot trailer. Many of the more expensive products were still new in their boxes, or had their tags on them.
Here are some of the bigger ticket items they found — not all of them from Lowe’s:
• Stainless steel Weber grill
• Aluminum gazebo
• Honda lawn mower
• Multiple boxes of unassembled furniture
• LG portable air conditioner
• Dewalt power washer
• 70” Vizio LED smart TV
• Sony stereo surround sound system with 4 speakers
• Nikon D5000 Camera
• 3 Dyson ball vacuum cleaners
• Multiple boxes of Ugg Shoes
• Approximately $2,500 Victoria Secret Underwear
Officials say that while the alleged scammers attempted to steal more than $258,000 worth of merchandise, they were only able to get away with about $13,000 in Lowe’s products.
The woman has been charged with second degree computer criminal activity for accessing a computer system with the purpose to defraud, second degree theft by deception for attempting to obtain merchandise totaling approximately $258,068.01 (pre-tax) and third degree theft by deception for the receipt of approximately $12,971.23 (pre-tax) worth of merchandise without payment.
Her husband has been charged with third degree receipt of stolen property and third degree fencing.
The investigation isn’t over yet, either, as officials are trying to identify other victimized retailers — you can’t buy Uggs or Victoria’s Secret underwear at Lowe’s, after all.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Consumerist.