KEY WEST, FLORIDA – A man who had just bought an island off of Key West for $8 million was arrested Saturday for taking part in what police described as a scheme to steal $300 in households items from Kmart.
Officials at Kmart called Key West police on April 5 after they say 59-year-old Andrew Francis Lippi had purchased several items including a Keurig coffeemaker and light bulbs. He 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.
Kmart’s loss prevention officer gave detectives 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.
According to the arrest report, Lippi told detectives he did not change out any of the items before attempting to return them to Kmart and that 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 in 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.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)