LAKELAND, Fla. - For Jonathan Thomas it was a bit of a shock. He had just shelled out about $300 for what he thought was an iPad Mini, but when he got home and he opened it up, what he found was two ledger books and no iPad Mini.
Thomas said he immediately went back to the store where he purchased the iPad, the Walmart in Lakeland on State Rd. 37, and talked to a manager. The manager, however, he says, wasn't buying his story.
"I'm thinking in the back of my mind, 'If i let my temper go, I'm going to jail,'" said Thomas.
Instead of jail time, Thomas decided a better course of action would be face time. So he went home and cut and posted a video on his YouTube channel, where he talks about electronic cigarettes. And in no time the video that was reposted and shared was on fire. "Within like an eight hour span we went from 20-grand to 500-grand," said Thomas.
500,000 views and Thomas thinks that's what caught the attention of Walmart because the same day it went viral, is the same day the same manager called him up and had him stop by to pick up a new iPad Mini.
ABC Action News contacted Walmart spokesperson Dianna Gee at Walmart corporate and she said this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened at a Walmart.
She also suggested you can always open a product at the store, at the point of purchase, at the register, just to make sure the product is there. Gee also said they were aware of Jonathan Thomas' situation and were already looking into it. She said that they have already discovered that the iPad that Thomas bought was actually purchased a day before at another Walmart at 2 a.m., and then it was returned at the Walmart where Thomas bought it on Dec. 14. So, Gee says, Walmart is now working with local law enforcement to try and find out who is responsible through surveillance video at both store locations.