KEY WEST, Fla. — A man who had just bought an $8 million island off of Key West was arrested Saturday for participating in what police described as a scheme to steal $300 in household items from Kmart.
Officials at Kmart called Key West police April 5 after they say Andrew Francis Lippi, 59, had purchased several items, including a Keurig coffeemaker and light bulbs, and returned the original boxes for a refund. But police say the boxes were stuffed with other items. For example, store officials said a basketball was inside the Keurig box.
The store's loss prevention officer provided detectives with video of Lippi buying and returning all of the items between March 30 and April 5, according to an arrest report.
The Miami Herald reports Lippi bought Thompson Island, which had been the home to the family of philanthropist Edward B. Knight. Lippi also owns the "Real World" house in Key West, where MTV shot its 17th season in 2006.
Lippi told detectives he did not change out any of the items before returning them. According to the arrest report, Lippi also told detectives the clerk should have known there was no coffee maker inside the box because of its weight. He also told officers he returned the light bulbs because they cost too much and he did not realize they'd been switched.
Lippi was charged with grand theft and booked into jail. He was also issued a trespass warning to stay away from Kmart. Jail records show he was released Sunday.
Lippi told the Herald the theft allegation is "complicated" and he'd rather not talk about it.