Illinois Walmart executive charged with carrying $135,000 bag

I remember seeing Rodney Dangerfield on the Tonight Show many years ago when he talked about how his father had worked for a bank for 30 years but was fired for stealing pens.

A much younger me didn’t get the joke until my dad explained that it was funny because if you were going to steal from a bank you should probably choose money instead of pens.

I think we can give a Walmart manager (a former manager now) some credit for allegedly stealing a bag full of cash instead of a handful of blue vests and a shopping cart.

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It’s not a 21st century gold blazer, but these things are pretty sharp. (Getty Images)

The theft took place at the West Jefferson Street Walmart in Joliet in November, but the suspect turned himself in to police on Monday of this week

On Monday, 47-year-old Melissa Vanderwall, of Romeoville, was arrested and processed, then taken to the Will County Adult Detention Facility for burglary and robbery after turning herself in to authorities under a warrant.

So, how exactly did this all play out?

According to Joliet Police Sgt. Dwayne English (hat tip to, the police were called and notified of a past robbery at the Joliet Walmart location last November. They then discovered that Vanderwall, working as a night manager, was the person suspected of theft.

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If you’re going to steal, isn’t this bag so much classier than…(Getty Images)

A garbage bag full of dollars.

…this bag? (Getty Images)

You’re probably wondering how someone can grab $135,000 and just walk out of the store

According to the story on,

While Vanderwall was working as a night manager, she had emptied a large amount of cash from cash recyclers used to replenish the store’s cash registers.

Vanderwall emptied the money into a shopping bag, abruptly ended her shift at the store, and left. The incident was captured on surveillance video. Police believe Vanderwall stole $135,988.00.

Although an arrest warrant was issued on November 29 last year, there was no sign of Vanderwall until this past Monday morning when she turned herself in — leaving us all wondering where she went for the past three months as police searched for her.

And while we’re on the topic of shoplifting, this video of a shoplifter being caught by a store associate who wasn’t in the mood for shoplifting is worth watching:

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