Is Gregory Gauna a thief? A schmuck? Or a combination of the two? These burning Schmuck of the Week questions are prompted by Gauna's arrest for swiping $1,250 in gift cards intended as Christmas presents -- or did he simply "find" them?
According to Gauna's probable cause statement, on view below, Jodi McBroom, a Canadian visiting the Fountain area, purchased seven Walmart gift cards ranging in value from $150 to $300 at a store in Fountain with the idea of handing them out at Christmas to her children and grandchildren; several of the former are said to be in the military. She gave a $300 card to her son, who lives in Fountain, before packing the other six in her suitcase and catching a flight at DIA to her home city of Saskatoon.
Upon her arrival, McBroom discovered the cards were missing. So she contacted Walmart in Canada, with company personnel subsequently discovering that they'd been redeemed at a store in Aurora only about an hour and a half after the time her luggage had been marked as checked.
The report states that the person who did the redeeming was Gauna, a DIA employee. He put $1,000 on a single card and $250 on another, with him and an unnamed woman with a child making a series of purchases on them.
A few days later, Gauna was pulled in for questioning, and he told investigators that he never took anything from McBride's suitcase. Instead, he said he found a card on the belt system that transports luggage at the airport, and when he looked around, he spotted the other five, which had presumably also tumbled from someone's bag.
"He was under the impression he got lucky, good find, and did not think it was wrong to keep them," the report maintains.
A few lines later, the document adds, "Gauna stated he now sees it was dishonest, but he does not think this was theft, as the items fell out."
The cops have a different view. Gauna, who reportedly has a previous misdemeanor theft item from 2010 on his record, was arrested on suspicion of theft over $750 dollars.
Ho, ho, ho. Here's a full-size version of Gauna's mug shot, followed by a 7News report and the probable cause statement.
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