Homeless Shrewsbury man steals alcohol from Whole Foods, runs into woods, gets arrested

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SHREWSBURY – On Friday, Sept. 16 at 4:18 p.m. Officer Dillion Zona of the Shrewsbury Police Department was dispatched to the Whole Foods located at 193 Boston Turnpike following a report of a theft at the store.

After he arrived on scene, Officer Zona said in his Statement of Facts, “It was determined the suspect passed all points of sale in Whole Foods, and was not in the area of Sach’s Jewelers, 180 Boston Turnpike.”

According to Officer Zona, when he left the Whole Foods, a man in Sach’s Jewelers parking lot told him he saw the suspect flee down Plainfield Avenue.

“While searching the area, a resident at 12 Plainfield Ave informed me a man ran into the woods in his backyard near St. Anne’s Church,” wrote Officer Zona in his Statement of Facts.

In the woods, Officer Zona located Steven Mandella, a 55-year-old homeless man who is known to stay in Shrewsbury.

“Four unopened liquor bottles were recovered from the woods where he was found with the anti-theft devices still on them,” wrote Officer Zona.

Officer Zona arrested Mandella and conducted a “show up” by bringing Mandella back to the Whole Foods, where the manager confirmed that he was the suspect.

Since Mandella had been charged with shoplifting once in the Worcester District on April 6, 2022, and a second time (also in the Worcester District) on June 24, 2022, he was charged with Shoplifting by Asportation 3rd Offense.

Mandella’s bail was set at $300.

He was arraigned in Westborough District Court on Sept. 19. He had a pretrial hearing on Nov. 17.

Disclaimer: If you are wondering why the incident in this story was from September, that’s because I had to file a FOIA request to get the court documents for the incident. FOIAs are time consuming.

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