A $4 purchase of Gatorade and Powerade with an EBT card at Walmart helped lead police to a couple that had allegedly stolen about $1,000 worth of baby formula from two stores.
The couple, Timothy, 24, and Katherine Bennett, 28, list a Wakefield address but told police they were homeless.
Katherine Bennett has been charged with larceny over $250 and shoplifting while Timothy Bennett has been charged with two counts of both larceny over $250 and shoplifting. They were both arrested at Motel 6 on Route 1 earlier this week, where police had received information the pair was located. They were arraigned in Salem District Court and both were released on personal recognizance and scheduled to return for a pretrial hearing on March 11.
Timothy Bassett was released even though he is on probation as has allegedly not shown up to prior hearings on separate cases in Somerville District Court.
The couple first came to the attention of Danvers police on Dec. 23 when Timothy Bennett allegedly walked out of Walmart with $123 worth of Enfamil that he had concealed in his coat.
Then again on Jan. 19 he returned to the store as store security watched him allegedly take empty Walmart bags from his coat and fill them with 35 cans of Enfamil worth $541 and walk out of the store.
On Jan. 22, the couple allegedly stole four cans of formula from CVS on Maple Street.
But police said their break in the ongoing thefts came a day later when the couple came to Walmart together, and Timothy Bennett allegedly walked out with $278.64 worth of formula while Katherine Bennett used an EBT card to buy Gatorade and Powerade for about $4.
Danvers Police detectives then went to the state Department of Transitional Assistance, which administers the EBT – or Electronic Balance Transfer – program and obtained the name of the person who owned the card. That’s when police obtained a warrant for the arrest of the couple. The total value of the formula that was allegedly stolen totals at least $940.
It was not clear from police and court records whether the couple has any children or what they planned to do with the formula.