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Suspected ‘trash can guy’ arrested in multiple Home Depot thefts

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Alvaro Gonzalez Aguirre, 42, of Orem, was arrested Monday, March 23, 2020, for investigation of engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity.

Utah County Jail

AMERICAN FORK — An Orem man dubbed by retail employees as “the trash can guy” is accused of stealing more than $25,000 worth of merchandise from Home Depot stores across Utah County, police say.

Alvaro Gonzalez Aguirre, 42, was arrested Monday for investigation of engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity.

Police, who were already on the lookout for Aguirre, spotted him Monday at Home Depot in American Fork.

“I know Alvaro as an outstanding theft suspect from several Utah County Home Depots exceeding $25,000,” the arresting officer wrote in a police affidavit.

Since Jan. 22, Aguirre has gone to Home Depot stores in American Fork, Provo and Lindon “57 times committing thefts,” the affidavit states.

Police say Aguirre would go into the stores, “select a certain type of garbage can and fill it full of high-dollar tools. He will than pay for the price of the garbage can and not the tools inside. The same day or next, Alvaro or an unknown male will return the garbage can for a cash refund. Home Depot loss prevention has nicknamed Alvaro ‘the trash can guy,’” according to the affidavit.

After police arrested Aguirre, they reported finding $700 worth of tools in the trunk of his car.

“Alvaro also was found in possession of low-dollar price stickers that he admitted he would use at Lowe’s,” the affidavit states.

His arrest comes just two weeks after Aguirre was supposed to be sentenced in a similar case.

In January, Aguirre pleaded guilty to stealing items at Target stores, according to court documents. He pleaded guilty to an amended charge of attempting to engage in a pattern of unlawful activity and retail theft.

In that case, Aguirre would remove 99-cent price tags from merchandise and place it on merchandise that costs $40 to $300, according to charging documents,

“Between April 11 and June 12, 2019, video surveillance showed the defendant engaging in this scheme on 14 different dates. The true price of the items obtained in this manner was $1,637.32, for which the defendant had paid $28,” the charges state.

A warrant was issued for his arrest on March 10 when he failed to show up for sentencing, court records indicate.

Aguirre was also charged March 3 in 4th District Court with drug possession, a third-degree felony.