A Eunice man has been accused of making four separate trips over several days and stealing goods from a local Wal-Mart. After being arrested after his final trip, the man faces one felony count of theft by shoplifting and two counts of misdemeanor theft by shoplifting. In Louisiana, felonies are punishable by law. According to Eunice police, the accused man stole merchandise worth at least $2,000.
A Wal-Mart employee allegedly witnessed the accused man walking out of the store's garden section with a shopping cart full of goods that he had not purchased and contacted police. Investigating officers then looked through surveillance video footage and identified the man and saw that he had made several previous trips and taken other items without paying for them. According to police, the man had stolen pliers, car batteries, wrench sets, battery chargers, car audio speakers and beer amounting to $2,173.
The employee provided police with a license plate number. Registration information led police to the owner's residence a couple of miles away. As officers were interviewing the suspect's relatives, the suspect returned, allegedly with stolen goods in his car. The unopened items were identified as Wal-Mart merchandise. He was arrested and the investigation team was able to track down the stolen goods inside his vehicle and a nearby storage shed.
In Louisiana, theft is considered a felony punishable under state law. Taking anything of value belonging to someone else by fraud or without consent is considered theft. The intention of a theft must be to permanently deprive the rightful owner use of the goods concerned. The penalty that an accused person faces for theft is imprisonment, but the duration of imprisonment is based on the value of the goods stolen.
Source: KATC.com, "Eunice man accused of stealing from Walmart," Tonya LaCoste, Feb. 19, 2013