Shoplifting reports list meat, makup, tools and beer … lots of beer
Hamburger. Seven cases of beer. A wrench set.
A shopping list? Not exactly.
A spate of shoplifting reports at Elizabethton’s Wal-Mart have added up to hundreds of dollars of lost merchandise for the retailer.
Seven incidents were reported to police Wednesday night – three that store security said happened that day and four earlier incidents.
Wednesday’s first report came at around 3:30 p.m. when loss prevention employees reported seeing a woman place $30.82 worth of hamburger and turkey meat into her purse, then attempt to leave the store without paying for it. According to an incident report, a store loss prevention employee detained the woman until an officer arrived.
In a second Wednesday incident, Wal-Mart loss prevention employees reported they had watched a man put two 24-packs of Budweiser beer into a cart and leave the store — without stopping at any of the cash registers to purchase them.
The employees told police they caught up to him and held him until EPD Officer Joe Holsclaw arrived to issue a summons to court.
Beer — much more beer — was also the subject of the night’s third report; Holsclaw was called back to the store and in an incident report described watching surveillance video showing a man selecting seven cases of Budweiser and taking them from the store without paying for them.
Prevention officers were unable to apprehend the man in the video, but were able to see the man getting into a car with a South Carolina license plate, according to the report.
EPD Patrol Officer Dustin Johnson, who had also responded to the initial beer report, found himself called back to the store as well, where a Wal-Mart loss prevention employee told him about four earlier incidents, including one involving the repeated use of the same coupons.
In a report, Johnson said that the prevention officer told him that on April 2, a man paid for two transactions with coupons — but did not turn the coupons over to the store.
Johnson said he was told the man passed through a register and bought $45.18 worth of items using $48 worth of coupons. Instead of turning the coupons in when they were scanned, he placed the coupons in his pocket, the loss prevention officer told Johnson. According to the report, the man later returned to the same register and bought almost the same items, with only one item being different; he again paid with the $48 in coupons and placed the coupons back in his pocket. According to the report, he was seen getting into a vehicle in the parking lot … with the coupons still in his pocket.
The loss prevention officer then outlined two April 6 incidents.
Johnson said the Wal-Mart employee told him an unidentified man came to the store at around 8 p.m. and took five pieces of makeup valued at $56.35. The employee said the man left the store without paying for the makeup. Johnson said the man was seen on video getting into a truck, where an unknown female got out and took the makeup back to the store to attempt a no-receipt refund. The refund was denied and she left the store with the merchandise.
The loss prevention employee also told Johnson that surveillance video from April 6 showed a man entering the store, taking a wrench set valued at $39.97 and an impact wrench valued at $189. According to the report, he hid the items in a backpack and left the store without paying.
In the final report, the employee told Johnson he was reviewing transactions from March 25 and saw a woman enter the store with a small bag, go to the grocery section of the store and select a few items, then go to the service desk to get a return. The loss prevention officer told Johnson the woman then went to the women’s clothing section, selected three pairs of pants and returned to the service desk, where she got a gift card. He told Johnson she then went back into the store and bought items using the gift card.
The store is seeking restitution for all the items that were involved in the various unsolved cases.