Warehouse Supervisor Helped Thieves Steal Retail Goods

Thieves allegedly paid supervisor to help them load products, get past security checkpoints


Vertilus signed a vehicle pass saying the truck was carrying only 30 empty pallets, and it passed through the security checkpoint. Vertilus said he met Rodriguez at Industrial Boulevard and Route 100, where Rodriguez paid him.

Rodriguez was arrested Friday when he arrived at the distribution center and admitted his involvement in the heist. He said, however, he did not approach Vertilus, but another supervisor approached him two weeks before the heist about making "a quick buck."

He said that when he got to the distribution center Feb. 15, the supervisor asked him if he wanted to do the heist on that day, and he agreed. Rodriguez said a man loaded the baby formula in his truck, and Vertilus loaded the empty pallets. He said Vertilus told him not to worry about the guards because he would sign a pass to get him through.

Rodriguez said he met the other supervisor, and they drove to the Bronx, where they delivered six pallets of baby formula in front of a gated business yard. He said Vertilus, the other supervisor and an unidentified man unloaded his truck by hand and placed the formula in two white vans, a job that took them four hours.

Rodriguez was paid $1,500 cash, police said.

Wakefern officials and Berks-Lehigh Regional police did not return calls for comment.

Law enforcement officials in the region have said stolen baby formula is sold on the black market, used to cut drugs or passed off as an illegal drug.

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