Michael Lopez

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office

A man described as a “habitual thief” was arrested again last month for stealing from a Pinal County Walmart, a sheriff’s official said.

Michael Lopez, 41, of Superior, was booked into the Pinal County jail April 25, after a Walmart employee recognized him from previous thefts, Sgt. Pat Ramirez, spokesman for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, said in a news release.

The employee saw Lopez drive his white pickup truck into the Walmart parking lot at about 8:30 a.m. She recognized the truck from previous times Lopez had stolen from the store, and called the sheriff’s office, Ramirez said.

Lopez went into the store, filled a shopping cart with nearly $750 in merchandise, and left without paying, Ramirez said. A sheriff’s deputy arrived in time to see Lopez pushing the cart through the parking lot.

After Lopez was arrested, “he admitted to all allegations and previous thefts” from area Walmarts, Ramirez said.

Lopez, whose truck was seized, is a suspect in 14 other thefts from local Walmart stores, Ramirez said.

In addition to the most recent charges, additional charges of burglary, shoplifting and trespassing are pending in connection with an April 22 theft during which more than $550 in merchandise was stolen. Ramirez said.