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Mich. man charged with robbing same Walmart three times in one night

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Alpena —  A northern Michigan man is accused of robbing a Walmart store in Alpena three times in one night, stealing $6,000 worth of merchandise, Michigan State Police said Tuesday.

Matthew Brown, 34, of Atlanta was charged Wednesday, May 22, in an Alpena district court with first-degree retail fraud. Atlanta is about 220 miles north of Detroit and located in Montmorency County. 

A judge set his bond at $10,000 and scheduled his next court appearance for Monday.

If convicted of the charge, a felony, he faces up to five years in prison.

Police said Brown first entered the Walmart at about 1:30 a.m. on March 22 and stole some electronic items. He dragged the items to his car, parked in the store's lot, loaded them in and drove away.

But police say that wasn’t the end of it. Brown allegedly returned to the store 20 minutes later, took more electronic items, put them in a shopping cart to make things easier and left without paying. Again, he loaded the items in his car and drove away, according to authorities.

And Brown wasn’t finished. "Brazenly, the subject returned to the store a third time" and took more merchandise without paying for it, officials said in a statement. 

Officials said items Brown allegedly took include three 50-65-inch TVs, a drone, an AT&T cellphone, a computer building kit, a flashlight, a Schwinn bicycle, a HP Pavilion Desktop computer, a PS4 racing wheel and a Western Digital 6TB hard drive.

Troopers reviewed the store's security system footage and interviewed witnesses. They identified Brown as the suspect. 

Police visited Brown at his home in Montmorency County and found much of the stolen property. They also found items from the store in Brown’s Saturn Vue. 

Troopers later arrested Brown at the Montmorency County Jail, where he was detained for unrelated charges. His next court appearance in scheduled in June, Michigan State Police said.

Clark Doman contributed.