(New Ulm, MN) – A New Ulm man has been charged with felony theft by swindle after he allegedly switched price tags on items at a local store.

Police say Gregory Allen Wendinger, 44, stole $1,556.87 in merchandise from the Menard’s store in New Ulm in January and February.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Brown County Court Monday, the Mankato Menard’s reported to the New Ulm store manager that Wendinger had switched UPC codes on a $1,600 dehumidifier for one that cost $180 at the Mankato store on Feb 4.

The New Ulm manager discovered that Wendinger had done the same thing in New Ulm on Jan 25, according to the complaint.  Police reviewed surveillance video of Wendinger placing a $1,600 dehumidifier in his cart, according to the complaint.  Wendinger apparently showed the cashier a picture of the UPC scan code, since there wasn’t one on the dehumidifier, but used a code for a $160 model.

Court documents say Mendard’s was able to identify Wendinger because he used his credit card to pay for the dehumidifiers.

The manager told police he also had surveillance of Wendinger shoplifting in the New Ulm store on two separate occasions.  On Jan 3, Wendinger allegedly stole eight pairs of gloves, which he stored in the bottom of plastic totes that he paid for at check-out.

On Feb 3, Wendinger placed a 10-pack of 90-degree elbow PVC in another stack of totes, under the tote cover, which he had angled inside the totes, according to the complaint.

Wendinger has not been charged in Blue Earth County as of Monday.

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