A Palatine man who created his own UPC code in order to trim $45 off the price of an expensive toy was arrested by Joliet police Saturday night and charged with forgery and retail theft.
Cmdr. Rich Demick said Keith Frederick Boyer, 47, went into the Toys R Us store, 3128 Voyager Lane, Joliet, at about 8 p.m. Friday and was observed covering the code on a Transformer figure with a sticker that would ring up the $74.99 item at a $29.99 price.
Realizing what he had done, store staff set up surveillance in the expectation that Boyer would return, which he did Saturday night. After he purchased the toy for the lower price, store security took him into custody and called the police, Demick said.
Boyer's action is a new twist on an old trick -- changing the price tag on an item in order to purchase it at a lower price. UPC codes, in addition to speeding the checkout process and allowing companies to more easily keep track of sales, was a way to stop the practice.
Ironically, had Boyer been caught stealing the toy, he would have been charged with misdemeanor retail theft because the price tag was less than $150, Demick said. However, forging the UPC code elevated the charges to felonies -- and he still had to pay more than $30 for the item, Demick said.
Boyer is being held in the Will County jail in lieu of $25,000 bond.