A couple who recently divorced and had worked together at Nordstrom in Minnetonka's Ridgedale Center have been arrested and charged with stealing merchandise valued at about $500,000 from the department store.
According to a criminal complaint, Denis Palamarchuk told police after his arrest on May 4 that he stole about 20 items in April because he was getting divorced and needed money to cover his bills because his pay had been cut.
But Capt. Andy Gardner with the Minnetonka Police Department said the thefts may have been taking place for nearly a year.
Minnetonka police executed a search warrant at a Plymouth residence where Palamarchuk had been staying and found high-end handbags, shoes and designer clothing believed to have been taken from the store,
Detectives also recovered more than $46,000 in cash believed to be proceeds from the sale of the stolen goods, which he sold to friends and family members and online. Police said he and his ex-wife, Tatyana Alysheva, had 215 items posted on an eBay account when they were arrested.
Alysheva also has been charged.
According to the complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court, store security was investigating after high-end merchandise went missing from a loading dock. A security camera captured Palamarchuk moving the camera and blocking the shelf where high-end clothing was kept "multiple times." Camera footage caught Palamarchuk driving to the loading dock and driving away with boxes he placed in his car.
A camera in a different area captured Palamarchuk placing purses in boxes and subsequently in his car. Loss prevention officers confronted him and identified the items, the complaint said.
Palamarchuk told officers he was hiding items in a garage in Plymouth and had received "a couple thousand dollars from selling items," the complaint said.
Officers executed a search warrant at the Plymouth address and found an eBay shipping receipt for Gucci boots and items with an estimated value of $500,000, the charges said.
Alysheva told police she knew Palamarchuk was stealing the merchandise and that she was helping him sell them on eBay and for cash, which is why there was "a large amount of cash at the residence."
Both defendants are due in court July 5. If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.