Case Study: Holding Retail Crime Accountable in Wauwatosa, WI
July 10, 2024
Miranda Reyes

The alarming surge in retail crime over recent years continues to impact the safety of store employees, patrons and communities. With 61% of retail employees concerned about their safety at work and 88% of retailers observing heightened aggression toward employees and patrons, there is an urgent need for ongoing mitigation and effective, long-term solutions.

ALTO’s support in a Wisconsin pharmacy robbery case demonstrates the significance of accountability and consequences. This not only deters future incidents but also creates a secure environment that empowers retailers to focus on operations, protect their employees, and enable their communities to thrive — exemplifying ALTO’s value as a partner in addressing the pressing issues facing today’s retail sector.

Pharmacy Robbery in Wauwatosa

On June 9, 2023, an individual entered a national pharmacy in Wauwatosa, WI, and pocketed a toy squirt gun. Minutes later, the individual leapt over the pharmacy counter, brandished the toy gun, and pushed the nearby pharmacist to the back of the store while repeatedly demanding narcotics. The suspect forced the pharmacist to enter her code into a locked safe, then shoved the bottles of narcotics into his sweatpants, which were secured at his ankles to prevent them from falling out.

During the ordeal, a store employee alerted police, who arrived within minutes. The individual attempted to flee but was ultimately apprehended by law enforcement on the same day. When performing their search, investigators found nearly 6,000 opioid pills along with other narcotics, illicit substances, and the keys to the pharmacy. The offender was held in custody and charged with robbery and possession with intent to deliver.

After Apprehension: The Last Mile

The on-site ALTO team swiftly initiated incident reporting and case building— collecting evidence such as the surveillance footage that captured the full incident, and gathering witness statements. ALTO also provided legal advocacy for the retailer and store employees during court proceedings. This comprehensive approach ensured that the offender faced appropriate consequences, significantly reducing the likelihood of further incidents at the store or nearby locations. 

Throughout the legal process, ALTO’s legal team monitored the case for updates and established communication between the store team and the prosecutor. In court, ALTO diligently advocated for appropriate consequences that would best protect the store and employees. Consequently, this initiative not only enhanced the safety of store personnel but also contributed to improving community security.

These diligent efforts led to the offender’s conviction and sentencing. On June 17, 2024, the defendant pleaded guilty to robbery with the threat of force and possession with intent to deliver. The court sentenced him to 5 years of initial confinement and 10 years of extended supervision on each count, to be served concurrently. To reinforce protection, the judge issued an order to bar the individual from contacting or entering the store premises.

Protecting Retailers, Empowering Communities

ALTO is the last mile in asset protection strategies, delivering apt consequences to individuals who disrupt store safety and holding retail crime accountable. By providing retailers with on-site support and legal advocacy, ALTO acts as a force multiplier for retail asset protection, fostering safety for retailers, their people, and their communities.

Our last-mile solution offers a robust framework for translating incident data into long-term, actionable strategies, backed by a nationwide Alliance of retailers, law enforcement, prosecutors, and key stakeholders dedicated to protecting retailers and empowering communities. 

Learn how ALTO can enhance your retail asset protection strategy to the last mile.