Create a free Industrial Equipment News account to continue

New Balance Manager Arrested for Shoe Theft Scheme

A fellow employee tipped off security after the plot had been going on for years.

A factory manager in Massachusetts is being charged with theft after a years-long scheme where he lifted product from the plant floor.

The North Andover, Massachusetts Eagle Tribune is reporting that Wilton Suarez, a manager at the New Balance shoe factory in Lawrence, was arrested and charged with larceny after being accused of stealing shoes.

Suarez, a manager in the scheduling department, was clearly not great at hiding the scam because it was a fellow employee who tipped off security. Once accused, Suarez was watched with surveillance equipment, which confirmed he was taking a few pairs of shoes each day back to his cubicle, where he’d hide them and then smuggle them out in his computer bag.

Detectives investigating the thefts were told that Suarez had made comments to some colleagues about how he sends the shoes back to his home country of the Dominican Republic “for a fee,” a theory that was supported when cameras caught him counting piles of cash at his desk.

The report goes on to say that an ongoing investigation will explore the possibility that this isn’t an isolated incident, rather, it’s part of a larger theft ring operating within the facility.

This is not the first time in recent years that New Balance has been caught up in a weird story. Back in 2016, an executive’s statement praising then-president-elect Donald Trump’s support of the TPP trade agreement caused opponents to burn their sneakers on social media. Mortified to be caught up in the controversy, things only got worse for New Balance when, a few days later, a Neo-Nazi blogger declared the brand “the official shoe of white people.”

So… what’s a little shoe theft? Right? Things can always be worse.

More in Operations