Anthem good samaritan pays off layaways at Walmart

ANTHEM, AZ - A "secret Santa" is spreading holiday cheer in Anthem.

Someone has been paying off people's layaway items at a Walmart in Anthem.

Store manager Joe Malinconico tells ABC15 the good Samaritan first walked through the front doors at Walmart last Thursday.

"He basically came in and said I want to pay off some layaways," said Malinconico. "It was as simple as that."

Together the two men started going through the list of those currently using Walmart's layaway program.

Malinconico says the man targeted people trying to pay off toys specifically.

That day, the secret Santa picked up the tabs for three different customers.

"We'd call up (customers) to explain to them someone came in and paid off your balance," said Malinconico. "They'd say 'are you crazy? Who is this?'

The next day the man returned and paid off the remaining balances for another 17 customers worth more than $1,600.

Malinconico tells ABC15 the the man wants to remain completely anonymous.

"He mentioned that his kids are older, and this was his way to give back to the community," said Malinconico. "This is his way to help people who are struggling."

With another 10 days remaining in Walmart's layaway program before the holidays, Malinconico suspects he hasn't seen the last of the good Samaritan.

"I have a feeling he'll be back," said Malinconico. "He's touching a lot of lives."

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