Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

November 19, 2013

MWPD tackle a week of Wal Mart thefts


Mineral Wells Index

— By CLINT FOSTER



From Tuesday, Nov. 12, to Sunday, Nov. 17, the Mineral Wells Police Department dealt with six incidents of theft at the local Wal Mart on Farm-to-Market Road 1821.

Half of these incidents occurred on the same night: Saturday, Nov. 16.

According to MWPD, the first of the most recent six incidents occurred just after 5 p.m. on Nov. 12. Wal Mart’s manager tried to stop a man attempting to leave with $133.75 worth of unpaid groceries.

In this case, the man fled, leaving his grocery cart behind and speeding off in his Ford pickup. An arrest has not yet been made.

Police said officials are reviewing video from an incident on Thursday afternoon in which a person stole a comforter from Wal Mart valued at around $50. An arrest in this case is pending as well.

Saturday was the police’s busiest day at Wal Mart.

First, was an individual who stole various items including a razor, lotion and a gift bag around 7 p.m. Like the man on Tuesday, when confronted, this person dropped the merchandise and ran.

Although no arrests resulted in the first three incidents, the last three weren’t so lucky.

Police said Zachary R. Johns, 30, stole an electric drill valued at around $100, put it in a sack at checkout and had a fake receipt.

According to MWPD, as he was leaving the store around 7:30 p.m., he was confronted by Wal Mart personnel, and was arrested by MWPD.

Later that night, around 10 p.m., police said Danielle E. Blackwell, 19, and Kristopher G. Ferguson, 26, attempted to steal miscellaneous items – including T-shirts, dog treats, toilet paper, a key chain and four chew toys – valued at around $58 combined. They, too, were confronted as they left and were arrested by MWPD.

Finally, at around 8 a.m., Sunday, police said they arrested Hannah R. Leath, 17, for attempting to steal $159 worth of items she had stuffed into her purse. MWPD said her purse was filled with items such as seven bras, super glue, four pairs of panties, two bandanas, a backpack and various other items.

Police said she tried to exit out of Wal Mart’s lubrication center, but the door was locked. When she tried to leave out the front door of the store, she was confronted and arrested.

A police spokesperson told the Index that frequent thefts at the local Wal Mart a “really not unusual.” He said in the month of October alone, MWPD responded to 22 incidents at Wal Mart, the majority of which were thefts.

On Oct. 21, MWPD dealt with eight incidents at the same super store.

The effort to curb such activity comes from a concerted effort by MWPD and Wal Mart’s loss prevention officers.