By Matt Wiley
A crime spree dating back to January has come to an end for two Zephyrhills residents who reportedly stole thousands of dollars worth of electronics from the Walmart Supercenter on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. in New Tampa.
According to the Tampa Police Department (TPD), back in early January, Joshua J. Martin, 32, and Maxlyn Beynart, 23,began their two-month crime spree when they stole an Apple iPad from the New Tampa Walmart, located at 19910 BBD, and escaped in a red, 1993 Ford Mustang. The criminals, crime and getaway were all caught on camera.
TPD reports that the duo struck twice more in February, when they stole a big-screen television and two smart phones, respectively, with assistance from a demagnetizing device, which kept the store’s alarms from going off. These crimes also were caught on camera.
Due to the rise in shoplifting at the New Tampa Walmart location, TPD has been taking several steps to curb crime at the popular store, including posting “No Shoplifting” signs, doing TPD squad roll-calls in the Walmart parking lot before shifts and also collecting TPD end-of-shift paperwork from officers in the same parking lot.
According to the report, on March 25, a TPD squad was doing its roll call at the New Tampa Walmart when the officers received a call from inside that the store’s staff was chasing two shoplifters who had just stolen two smartphones. While members of the TPD squad took positions at the exits, the red Mustang was located and secured in the parking lot and Martin and Beynart were arrested inside the store. The suspects only confessed to stealing the two smartphones that day, but also admitted to having stolen many items from several Walmart locations.
On March 26, Martin was charged with four counts of third-degree grand theft and three counts of possession or use of a shoplifting device, as well as resisting arrest. He currently is being held in the Hillsborough County jail on a $14,500 bond. Beynart was charged with two counts of third-degree grand theft and also is in jail on a $4,000 bond.