NORRISTOWN PA May 12 2017 A scam artist who repeatedly stole shower doors from Home Depot stores across the Philadelphia area, including stores in Conshohocken and King of Prussia, is headed to jail, a court ruled Wednesday.
Montgomery County Court Judge Joseph P. Walsh sentenced Joseph Francis Mulvenna, 43, of Philadelphia, to 6 to 23 months in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility beginning June 2, 2017 at 6 p.m. Mulvenna pleaded guilty to a total of four misdeameanor retail theft charges for two different criminal complaints. During his sentence he will be eligible for work release. After he is released, he will then serve three years’ probation and pay a $200 fine and $957 to Home Depot in restitution. In total, Mulvenna will be under court supervision for a period of five years.
Investigators say Mulvenna is part of a larger Philadelphia-based organized retail crime group that is responsible for over $600,000 in losses to the retail chain.
On July 7, 2016 at approximately 2:30 p.m., Home Depot Loss Prevention Officer Cesar Evangelista contacted Plymouth Township Police regarding three thefts Mulvenna committed that was caught on video surveillance on June 6, 23 and 28, according to a criminal complaint.
On June 6, at approximately 10:56 a.m., Mulvenna is seen entering the Conshohocken Home Depot, 200 Alanwood Road, pushing an empty dry wall shopping cart. He walks to the rear of the store and came back to the front pushing the cart filled with a Sterling Finesse Semi-framed sliding tub door in nickel valued at $319. He then walks to the self checkout area, waives a receipt to a store employee and leaves without paying for the shower door, the complaint states. He does the same thing two more times on the other two days, never attempting to pay for the doors.
Then on July 6, Evangelista saw a man, later identified as Anthony Klancic, purchase a soda, leave the store in King of Prussia and walk toward the parking lot where a gray Chevy truck was parked. He hands the receipt to Mulvena, who was seen behind the wheel of the truck, and Mulvena enters the store with the empty drywall cart and picks out a $319 shower door and puts it into the cart. He then removes a UPC sticker from his pants pocket, and places it on top of the shower door’s UPC code, switching the price. Mulvenna then walks toward the front of the store and purchases the door for $107 using cash at the contractor’s register.
Once outside the door of the store, Evangelista and Jeff Plowden, the store’s asset protection specialists, told Mulvena to go inside the store for further investigation. Mulvena became uncooperative by pushing the drywall cart containing the stolen door between him and Evangelista. Evangelista and Plowden subdued Mulvenna and as they struggled with him, Upper Merion Police were contacted for assistance. Police arrived and arrested Mulvena, the complaint states.
The gray Chevy truck had left the parking lot and was found at a Sunoco gas station nearby. Upper Merion Police stopped the truck, which Klancic was driving but Mulvena owned. Klancic was not involved in the incident but was found to have a suspended driver’s license. The truck was returned to Upper Merion Police Department and Mulvena agreed to let police search the truck, where they found several Home Depot receipts, the complaint states.
The receipts indicate that on July 5, 2016 at 12:44 p.m. someone purchased a soda at the Willow Grove Home Depot then at 1 p.m. a door for $319 was returned and a store credit was issued in the amount of $338.14 ($319 plus tax). Then another receipt showed on July 5 at 1:30 p.m. another shower door was purchased at the Montgomeryville Home Depot but the UPC code was changed to a $107. Then the same door is returned and a store credit was issued.
William Adams, an organized retail crime investigator for Home Depot, told police Mulvenna and Klancic are part of a large Philadelphia based organized retail crime group targeting the Home Depots throughout the region. The group is responsible for over $600,000 in losses to the retail chain.