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Local man accused of 12-month theft binge at Home Depot

Crime Watch

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CHUBBUCK — A Bannock County man has been charged for repeatedly trying to return items to a Home Depot he had not purchased.

Michael Wayne Roden, 61, faces a felony grand theft charge after making at least 28 separate trips to Home Depot on Hawthorne Road in Chubbuck. During those trips he allegedly returned items he had selected off the store shelves, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

A Chubbuck Police Department detective was contacted by the store’s loss prevention team, which had compiled a list of incidents, dating back to June 30, 2020. Store employees said they repeatedly observed a man, identified as Roden, enter the store empty-handed only to see him minutes later returning an item at the returns desk.

While discussing the circumstances with the detective, loss prevention employees were notified Roden had just entered the store. Though he did not make any fraudulent returns on this visit, the detective requested a uniformed officer conduct a traffic stop on Roden.

Roden was pulled over before leaving the parking lot. While performing searches of his person and vehicle, officers found a THC vape pen, as well a binder containing Home Depot sales receipts.

While being interviewed by the detective at the store, Roden said he suffered from “early dementia,” police reports show. Still, he told officer he realized what he was doing was wrong.

Having reviewed footage of two incidents of alleged theft prior to his arrival, the detective asked Roden if he recalled the two interactions. In one, Roden is allegedly seen returning a $99 gas trimmer he had not entered with store with. In the other, he returns a $376 door.

Roden told officers that he did recall the incidents, according to court documents.

Home Depot employees told officers they wished to pursue charges against Roden, and he was taken to Bannock County Jail where he was booked for grand theft. He was given a warning for possession of the THC vape pen.

If found guilty of grand theft, Roden would face up to 14 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 21.

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