COLUMBUS, Ohio – Columbus authorities are looking for a man they say has an eye for quality when he carried out a series of robberies last year, even calling one store afterwards to ask for some items he left behind in his flight from security guards.
Paul Jeffrey Waginger, 26, has been dubbed the “Hi-Def Hoodlum” because of his propensity for stealing top-name consumer electronics, according to Bill Hedrick, who leads the Columbus City Attorney’s fugitive apprehension program.
Waginger allegedly pulled off a series of thefts during a two-week crime spree in December and has evaded capture since then, Hedrick said.
Waginger, whose last known address was on Tamarack Boulevard, is described as 6’0”/ 170 lbs. with brown hair and green eyes.
According to Hedrick, Waginger stole a 39-inch Samsung TV valued at $429.99 from a store at the Graceland Shopping Center on Dec. 2.
Ten days later, Hedrick says, he stole a 32-inch Philips TV valued at $259.99 from a store in the Easton-area.
He returned two days later, he reportedly crashing his vehicle into a handicap parking space, jumping out, grabbing a shopping cart and entering the store, Hedrick said. About 10 minutes later, Hedrick says surveillance cameras caught Waginger placing a Nikon digital camera valued at $599.99 and a $79.99 Bright Starts baby swing in his cart and walking out of the store.
When store security personnel approached him, Waginger initiated a scuffle. During the brief melee, Hedricks says, Waginger lost his coat, hat, and sunglasses before breaking free and running away. He called the store a few hours later to ask if he could pick up his personal belongings at the lost-and-found department.
The vehicle he left parked in the handicap parking space was impounded.
Hedrick says Waginger targeted another Easton-area retailer the next day, stealing items valued at $393.88, including a 38” Vizio soundbar system.
Authorities say Waginger has served time in prison for drug-related felonies, breaking and entering, receiving stolen property, resisting arrest, contempt of court, hit-skip, leaving the scene of an accident, and OVI.
Anyone with information on Paul Jeffrey Waginger is asked to contact Hedrick at 614-645-8874.