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Police Arrest 2 of 3 Suspects Who Stole 137 Baby Formula Cans from Walmart since March

Police records show a total of 137 cans were stolen over time with a value of more than $2,000. In one haul on April 21, they stole 55 cans valued at $878.35.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
A Worcester man and woman involved in the theft of 137 cans of Enfamil baby formula over a three month period from the Ten Rod Road Walmart were finally caught last week and are now facing multiple felony charges.

A third suspect, identified as an unknown black male, remains at large.

North Kingstown Police said Phuong Tranh Lam, 34; and Trinh Tuyet Huynh, 42, both of Worcester, Mass., were taken into custody on June 3 after police were dispatched to the store for a shoplifting in progress.

Police said a loss prevention employee saw the male suspect, Lam, leaving the store with a large plastic tote containing numerous cans of formula and was attempted to enter a car waiting for him. 

Inside the car was Huynh, who reportedly took off, leaving Lam behind and he chased after while continuing to push the cart.

Police arrived moments later and found Lam at the Wickford Junction entrance, still with the cart. 

Police later tracked down Huynh nearby and she was found to be operating without a driver's license.

Inside the cart was a plastic tote bin containing 36 cans of Enfamil and six articles of clothing. The value of the Enfamil alone was more than $580.

According to a police report, a detective working the case recognized the two as suspects in three previous shoplifting cases and Walmart staff said they were involved in another incident, bringing the total number of such incidents to five including the incident that just occurred.

In each, one of the suspects walked into the store and put a large number of baby formula cans into a tote or container and left without paying. And in every incident, the same getaway car, identical to the one Huynh was driving, was used. 

Police said Lam was positively identified in three of the five incidents documented by store security cameras and was wearing a gray baseball cap with a red "A" each time.

Huynh was identified in two of the five incidents.

Police records show a total of 137 cans were stolen over time with a value of more than $2,000. In one haul on April 21, they stole 55 cans valued at $878.35. In addition, they didn't pay for six pieces of clothing and the totes they used to conceal the merchandise.

According to police, Lam admitted that he was involved in the incidents and said he had a drug problem and was stealing to pay for heroin.

Lam was charged with three counts of felony shoplifting and felony conspiracy and was ordered held pending arraignment in District Court. He also had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court for arraignment on a prior charge.

Huynh was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Michael Robinson and was released on $5,000 surety bail. 

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