Wal-Mart Thief: Fake Pregnancy, Fake Barcode, Fake Shoplift, Real StupidWritten by Evan Schuman
As a world-class—not to mention the world’s largest—retail chain, Wal-Mart attracts world-class criminals. But it also attracts criminals who should, well, have more seriously explored other lines of work. This story is about one of them—and her sister.
The action began last Thursday (Oct. 7) at the Wal-Mart in Alliance, Ohio, when two sisters from Cleveland—Katurah and Staniel Petty—visited. The pair went to the back of the store, selected two higher priced pieces of software and “concealed them behind a large purse in the [shopping] basket,” said Alliance Police Lt. Kevin Moore, who later saw the pair’s activity on the store’s video system. The Pettys then tried exiting the store without paying and the theft-detection system was activated. (Stick with me on this one. It gets a lot better.)
According to Moore, as security personnel were approaching, the Pettys pushed the cart—still holding the not-yet-paid-for software—into a cart parking area and then stepped out the door. When security stopped them, the two correctly said that they did not have anything stolen. Security shortly found the software in the cart, which was technically still in the store, meaning that it had not officially been removed from the store.
To explain the alarm, one of the sisters produced a hard-drive from another store, with the theft-detection tag still on it. The other store must have accidentally left the tag on, one sister said. (Moore said he had suspicions about whether the hard-drive had actually been stolen, but this story is complicated enough without going there.)
Here’s where things get strange. Security, puzzled by whether a shoplifting charge would stick if the items never actually were removed from the store, opted to not pursue charges and let the pair go. But one of the sisters then called police, wanting to charge the Wal-Mart security folk with harassment and improper detention.