JET-SETTING MICHAEL POLLARA traveled the world on luxury vacations – paid for with money he made shoplifting toys, according to cops!
In the past 10 years, Pollara stole a whopping $2 million worth of playthings from Toys “R” Us stores in 27 states, cops say, along with a mother lode of merchandise from other national retailers.
“When we finally add it all up, we expect the total to be much, much higher than $2 million,” Sgt. Rich Rossman of the Broward County Sheriff ’s Office told The ENQUIRER.
And after he was busted, cops say Pollara had no apologies. “He was actually proud of what he’d done,” Sgt. Rossman said. “He called it an art – the art of shoplifting.”
Pollara, 46, escaped detection with a scam called “box stuffing,” authorities say. They allege that he’d go into a Toys “R” Us, look for cheap toys in big boxes, remove the toys and hide them in the store. Then he’d fill the box with pricey items, seal it, go through the checkout and pay the lower price.
His mother Margaret, 70, allegedly acted as his lookout, and after they’d pillaged South Florida, Pollara began renting cars and driving to other states. The authorities believe that he’d hit a store and then ship the merchandise back home.
He sold the items on EBAY, and then splurged on lavish 10- to 15- day vacations to far-flung spots like Tahiti, Argentina, Russia, China and Australia, cops say.
But in a typical dumb crook move, cops say he used a Toys “R” Us rewards card in his own name to make his purchases, leading detectives to his door.
Pollara and his mother were arrested on Aug. 9 at their home in Tamarac, Fla. They both face multiple charges, and cops expect they’ll get lengthy prison sentences.