Dogged detective tracks down suspected laptop thief through companion’s purchase using Food Stamps at Target

Matthew Zovak

A dogged detective tracked down a suspected laptop thief by checking into a companion’s purchase using Food Stamps.

A man entered the Target store at Rolling Acres Plaza on Oct. 23 where surveillance captured him removing spiderwrap from a HP laptop and showing it to a female companion. He left the store, while she stayed behind and purchased food items using Supplemental Nutrition Program Assistance benefits.

He returned a short time later, wearing a different shirt.

He put four blue storage containers into a shopping cart, went back to the electronics department and put the laptop into the containers and left the store without paying for the items.

Charles Gehrsitz

Detective Charles Gehrsitz of the Lady Lake Police Department tracked the SNAP account number through the Florida Department of Children and Families. It led to 37-year-old Matthew Zovak.

A check of Zovak’s driver’s license photo matched the man captured on video surveillance at Target.

The detective obtained a warrant for Zovak’s arrest.

Sumter County sheriff’s deputies arrested Zovak on Nov. 24 at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 27/441 and Bella Cruz Drive in The Villages.

He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center and released after posting $2,000 bond.

In 2008, Zovak was arrested in Lady Lake on drug possession charges.

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