Gerson Alexander Avila, 30, no known address, was charged in the Morrison County District Court with one felony count of theft: taking, using or transferring property without consent.
On Feb. 12, it was observed through surveillance video that three men entered the Walmart store in Little Falls and selected large pieces of luggage. They then went to the pharmacy and allegedly started loading the luggage with items such as razor blades, toothbrushes, whitening strips and various medications. The men then left the building through the lawn and garden department without paying.
The value of the items taken exceeded $8,000.
Law enforcement had learned several hours earlier the Baxter Walmart store had suffered a similar type of theft.
The Super 8 Motel in Baxter contacted the Baxter Walmart about suitcases employees had found in their dumpster. Walmart identified the suitcases as being stolen from their store and the Super 8 confirmed the men were staying at their motel. The room had allegedly been rented to a Gerson Alexander Avila from Houston, Texas.
Staff at the Super 8 Motel told police the men were looking for a FedEx facility to ship items. They were told St. Cloud was the closest facility. Police contacted the FedEx in St. Cloud and it was confirmed they had packages from three men that were to be mailed to Texas.
A search warrant was obtained, the packages opened and the officers found the stolen items from the Walmart stores.
A warrant for the arrest of Avila has been issued.