Police said high-end baby formula, with a hefty price tage, kept two men coming to a Walmart store on Ridge Road in Eldersburg. Monday, deputies finally caught up with them as they sat in their would-be getaway car in the parking lot.
"During the course of the investigation, 16 cans of Similac baby formula were recovered,” said Cpl. Jon Light of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, “Asset Protection had recognized these suspects from previous incidents and working with investigators they were able to connect five other incidents for a total of six incidents regarding baby formula thefts just during February alone."
There have been six incidents in just two weeks' time, and by the time their baby formula spree had ended, 49-year-old David Tyrone Johnson and 47-year-old Byron Jerome Miller of Gwynn Oak had allegedly pilfered 91 cans of the stuff.
"The total was just over $1,435," said Light.
In recent years, there's been a growing black market for baby formula, and on any given day, you can spot a handful of discounted offerings on Craigslist in the Baltimore area.
Johnson remains behind bars with his bond set at five times that of his alleged accomplice, so ABC2 News reporter Jeff Hager stopped by his given address, which happened to be his mother's home and she said he doesn't have any children of an age which would still require baby formula.
Meanwhile, police can only muse at the audacity of two men who would target the same store in the same manner for the same product over and over again.
"It has happened before,” said Light, “We certainly do have a number of retail thefts that occur, but as far as baby formula, specifically, these six stand out."
While each of the individual thefts are considered misdemeanors, the suspects also face a charge of a theft scheme netting more than $1,000, which is a felony and can carry up to ten years behind bars if they're convicted.