Police: Wanted Man Caught In The Act, Released On His Own Good Name

State Police have arrested Thomas Hetzler, 52. of Wilmington following a series of similar shoplifting incidents at Wegmans, located at 371 Buckley Mill Road in Wilmington.

Officials said on the evening of July 4, 2024, around 7:00 p.m., a Wegmans employee alerted an on-duty trooper about a habitual shoplifter trespassing on the premises. The employee identified the suspect, Thomas Hetzler, who was in possession of a shopping cart filled with grocery items. Recognizing Hetzler from previous shoplifting incidents, the trooper intercepted him as he exited the store with stolen goods valued at over $300.

This arrest is not Hetzler’s first encounter with law enforcement for similar offenses police said Friday. A subsequent computer check revealed that Hetzler was under a No Contact Order with Wegmans, issued by the New Castle County Court of Common Pleas. Additionally, he had outstanding warrants for shoplifting offenses that occurred on March 19 and June 26, 2024, at the same Wegmans location according to police. In each instance, Hetzler was reported to have filled a shopping cart with groceries and left the store without making payment in those instances as well.

Following his arrest, Hetzler was transported to Troop 1, where he was charged with Theft – Organized Retail Crime (Felony), two counts of Shoplifting Under $1,500, and Criminal Trespass in the 3rd Degree. He was arraigned by the Justice of the Peace Court 2 and subsequently released on a $5,250 unsecured bond, despite his repeated offenses.