Pair Jailed for Part in Suspected Wal-Mart Theft Ring
A couple of shoplifters caught the attention of security workers in a Mankato Wal-Mart Super Center, resulting in Mankato police and a state trooper arresting two women who were suspected of stealing over $100,000 in merchandise from Midwest Wal-Mart stores.
They are suspected of hitting stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
The women allegedly took a suitcase from the luggage department at the Mankato store, valued at $80. They then filled it with 200 DVDs worth more than $5,000. In order to do this, one suspect distracted the employee in the Electronics Department by buying something else while the DVDs were stolen.
When the two left the store, they triggered the theft alarm. The woman with the shopping cart carrying the suitcase kept going toward the parking lot, while the one who made the electronics purchase tried to distract employees by acting like her item is what triggered the alarm.
A parking lot surveillance video showed that they left in a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria after a Wal-Mart employee had finished checking the bag of the suspect with the purchase. Wal-Mart then contacted the Mankato police, resulting in an alert that led to the stopping of the car on Highway 22, just south of New Auburn by a state trooper.
When the state trooper opened the suitcase, he did not find the DVDs. Samantha Velez-Diaz, 26, and Noe Baldiva-Corral, 59, were both charged with felony theft.
It is not sure how many people may be involved in the suspected theft ring that is believed to have spanned 7 months. It is believed by law enforcement that the individuals within the ring are shipping out the items as soon as they take them. Currently, there is a lot of video surveillance to review.
At this time, both of the suspects have felony warrants in North Dakota and Wyoming, according to the complaint. It is said that they have stolen a total of $7,000 in Merchandise from a Worthington Wal-Mart, $1,200 in merchandise from an Owatonna Wal-Mart, and around $4,300 in merchandise from an Albert Lea Wal-Mart.
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