Alleged Wegmans Meat Thief in Trouble Again
A Palmer Township man and his Bethlehem Township friend are charged with stealing $1,300 of meat and lobster tails from Weis and Wegmans.
Eric William Thompson and Michael Richard Moran are apparently fond of surf and turf dining.
Thompson is accused of stealing about $1,300 in surf -- all lobster tails -- and turf -- filet mignon and steaks among other meat -- on five days in December from the Weis Market in Palmer Township.
Moran, a 56-year-old Bethlehem Township resident, is accused of being his accomplice in some of those incidents, according to court records. On the day he was apprehended, Moran blocked store employees at the exit from catching Thompson, who got away, the records say.
Thompson, a Palmer Township resident who turned 37 on Sunday, already has been charged with stealing items from Wegmans in Lower Nazareth Township in December. Police subdued him with a taser early on Dec. 30 after walking out with six lobster tails and 14 beef tenderloins and ignoring officers’ commands.
In the Weis case, a probable cause affidavit filed by Palmer Patrolman Dave Lembach gives the following inventory of what Thompson allegedly stole:
- Dec. 10, filet mignon, $150 value.
- Dec. 13, lobster tails, $259.80.
- Dec. 14, meat, $197.82
- Dec. 14, lobster tails, $459.54
- Dec. 15, steaks, $32.
- Dec. 17, meat, $186 (he also allegedly took a damaged product worth $19.42).
Total value -- $1,304.58.
On Dec. 17, a Saturday, at about 1:18 p.m., police were dispatched to the Weis at 3011 William Penn Highway for a theft in progress, according to the affidavit. County radio said a man, later identified as Thompson, fled in a blue Jeep Cherokee south on Greenwood Avenue. The radio also said a second man, later identified as Moran, was being held by store personnel.
The store manager told police that Thompson placed numerous packages of beef products in his jacket and fled. The manager said Moran was outside the store and opened the automatic doors for Thompson to flee. Moran stood in front of store employees as Thompson got away.
Weis later provided surveillance video of what it said were the thefts. It shows Thompson removing meat from a case and placing it on top of a coat in a shopping cart. It also shows him leaving the store with the allegedly stolen items.
Additional video shows Moran in the lobby waiting for Thompson and following him out the lobby doors. The Dec. 17 video shows Moran blocking store employees.
On Feb. 4, the other officer visited Thompson in Northampton County Prison and showed him photos from the store video. He read him his Miranda warnings and Thompson said, “You know everything you need to know."
In the Weis case, Thompson was arraigned Monday by District Judge Jackie Taschner of Palmer Township. He was charged with retail theft and conspiracy to commit retail theft. Bail was set at $10,000 and he remains in the county prison.
Moran, who was allegedly with Thompson on Dec. 13, 14 and 17, also was charged with retail theft and conspiracy to commit retail theft. He was arraigned Dec. 17 by District Judge Joseph Barner of Lower Nazareth Township and released on $2,500 unsecured bail.
The above arrest information was supplied by the office of District Judge Jackie Taschner. It does not indicate a conviction.