The Prince of Tide

South St. Paul man admits to stealing $25,000 of

Tide in court, gets 90 days in jail

Posted:   03/01/2012 12:01:00 AM CST
Updated:   03/01/2012 12:13:03 AM CST


Patrick Paul Costanzo, 53, of South St. Paul ( Photo courtesy of the Dakota County sheriff’s office)


A South St. Paul man came clean in court Tuesday, admitting he stole about $25,000 worth of Tide laundry detergent from Walmart.


Patrick Paul Costanzo, 53, was sentenced in Dakota County District Court to 90 days in county jail and five years of probation.

He began serving his sentence immediately.

The thefts were from the Walmart store in West St. Paul, police said.

Employees conducting an inventory audit early in February noticed an “abnormal loss of Tide laundry detergent,” the charges said. When security workers reviewed video surveillance, they discovered a man repeatedly taking Tide and other items without paying for them. The man was in the store as many as five days a week.

Employees spotted the man, later identified as Costanzo, trying to push a cart of items out of the store without paying for them Feb. 8 and detained him, the complaint said.

Inventory reports showed an estimated $25,000 in laundry detergent missing over 15 months, the charges said. Video surveillance showed Costanzo was at the store 28 days between Jan. 1 and Feb. 7, taking detergent and other items worth an estimated $6,300 without paying for them.

West St. Paul police said it was unclear whether Costanzo was selling the detergent.

In the sentencing, District Judge Martha Simonett also banned Costanzo from Walmart and ordered him to pay restitution, which has not been determined. The felony theft charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor if Costanzo follows court


Costanzo received credit for 21 days served in jail.

His attorney did not return a phone message Wednesday. According to state records, Costanzo has multiple theft convictions, dating back to 1997.

Maricella Miranda can be reached at 651-228-5421. Follow her at

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