Deputies: Stolen claw machine returned to St. Johns County Walmart

Men pretended to be taking machine for maintenance, deputies say

By Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - A claw machine taken from a Walmart by three men who claimed to be doing maintenance on it has been returned, the St. John County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday.

Deputies had released surveillance video and pictures of the three men who they said walked into a Walmart on U.S. 1 in St. Johns County March 12 and left with a large claw machine.

They told the assistant manager that they were picking up a broken claw machine and then loaded the machine into an older, white Ford F-150, which was also captured on camera, deputies said.

The trouble was, the men don't work for the company that actually maintains the machine, deputies said.

The Sheriff's Office posted on social media Thursday that thanks to tips, the three men had been identified and contacted and the claw machine was returned.

"That's what we call TEAM WORK!" the Tweet said.

Sheriff's Office spokesman Chuck Mulligan said the men were found in Volusia County, but detectives are still investigating and no arrests have been made in the case.

Deputies said the men were believed to have taken another similar machine from a Walmart in Gainesville.

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