Stolen stockpile

Using coupons to collect a huge stockpile of products that are then resold at garage sales or flea markets, has long been a controversial subject. Those who do it say it’s their right. But many couponers frown on it, most coupon issuers discourage it, and some critics say the only way to acquire massive stockpiles intended for resale, is by cutting corners and committing some form of coupon fraud.

So when a hoard of products destined for resale is stolen – is it a crime, or karma?

Police in Charlack, Missouri sure considered it a crime when a man allegedly stole an extreme couponer’s stash and held his own stockpile sale online.

The victim was Shawn Perry, a couponer with a whole lot of stuff. “I have cases of Tide. Cases,” she told St. Louis’ KPLR-TV. She gets so many products for little or nothing, that she rents a storage unit to hold it all. Some of it she ends up using or donating, she said, and the rest she sells.

But imagine her surprise when she saw her own purchases offered for sale on Facebook.

Police say 34-year-old Demetrius Jones was spotted on security footage visiting his own storage unit in the wee hours of the morning last Friday. The video then allegedly showed him breaking into Perry’s storage unit, and carting away many of the items inside.

Later that day, Jones posted pictures on a local Facebook “items for sale” group, under the heading “Shampoos… conditioners… hair spray… mouthwash… laundry detergent,” all being offered at prices far below what you’d pay at any store.

A real steal! Except that it was.

As luck would have it, Perry is a member of that very same Facebook group. She said she saw the photos, and recognized the hand-written price tags she had put on some of the items.

“You can’t make this up,” police chief Steve Runge told KPLR. “She could have bought her own stuff back, before she even knew it was stolen.”

Perry called police, who put two and two together and realized they actually already had their man. Jones had been pulled over and arrested on unrelated charges shortly after posting his photos, and police found it curious that he had a “trunk full of soap products.” Once Perry called them, and they reviewed the security footage, they charged Jones with burglary.

But by then, Jones allegedly had already sold some of Perry’s products. “I didn’t get back half of what he took. Not even half,” she told the TV station. “It’s very frustrating.”

So Perry will be working to build up that stockpile again. She may not have “cases of Tide” anymore, but if she has enough other products to sell – she may want to use the proceeds to buy a stronger lock.

Images: Charlack Police Department

8 Comments

  1. I think you have to use some common sense, when you need to rent a storage unit to store your stuff. Cut down on your buying and save the cost of wasting your savings on the storage unit.

  2. The lady should be charged also…. wtf… u guys (police) really? She said those were her handwritten price tags so hello thete is another charge there she is going to sale them…. WOW!!!Y charge the male only….NO JUSTICE

    • the only crime committed was by the man who stole her stuff – she has every right to do with her stockpile whatever she wants she purchased them with her money & no fraud was done . I also have a huge stockpile & I donate all the time , give to family & friends and when my husband got laid off from his job I sold enough to keep our bills paid for 3 months @ almost $2,000 a month . I buy my papers sort thru q’s & look for sales all legal & what I do with MY stuff is my business.

  3. I am a couponer! I don’t commit any type of fraud. People need to understand I buy my papers ever Saturday I spend hours sorting,stapling, cutting, and filing my coupons! Then I find the best deals and then I go to the store and purchase my items! We are not scammers! We are saving money for our families. I personally don’t sell my items yet, I may at some point! That gives NO ONE THE RIGHT to steal items that she has worked so hard for!

    • I feel the same way I put hours into my stockpile people don’t like it cause they are to lazy to do it too , yet complain because we take what the stores offer ? What crime is that ?

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