Reporting Mike Hellgren
ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Gary Giordano’s criminal background has come under scrutiny since his friend disappeared in Aruba.
Mike Hellgren spoke to a Maryland detective — who once arrested him — for fresh insight into the man generating headlines worldwide.
Before Giordano was known around the world in connection with the disappearance of his lover, Robyn Gardner, in Aruba, Detective David Hill arrested him for stealing electronics from a Target in Montgomery County.
“Some people try to take you down a different road as opposed to where the case is leading. He didn’t take us in a different direction,” Hill said.
Hill says other police agencies have now asked him about the theft investigation. Giordano was convicted but served no jail time.
“I knew that questions would be asked and people would want to know what he was about and what he was doing in the past,” Hill said.
Prosecutors in Aruba say they believe Giordano killed Gardner—both are from Maryland—but after many searches and even re-enactments, they have no concrete evidence so his past has become part of the present investigation, including allegations of domestic violence and his purchase of a $1.5 million insurance policy on Gardner.
“He was easygoing with us,” Hill said. “He came across as an intelligent person.”
One former neighbor who wanted her identity concealed said the theft earned Giordano a nickname in the neighborhood.
“The Target bandit,” she said. “I warned my children, keep away from people like this.”
“I wouldn’t say I was surprised [he made headlines again],” Hill said.
Giordano continues to profess his innocence, saying he did nothing to harm Gardner.
Giordano has not been charged and claims Gardner drowned while snorkeling. He’s hired the same attorney who defended Casey Anthony against murder charges to represent him.