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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: walmart

Jury denies claims by woman who sued Walmart for profiling

A Spokane jury found a Walmart employee did not assault a customer he believed was shoplifting in an altercation outside the Shadle Park location in December 2012.

Beyonce Nieves brought suit against the Arkansas-based retailer claiming a store loss prevention employee accosted her outside the store on suspicions she stole stockings from the Ladies Wear Department. Troy Nelson, an attorney for Walmart in the case, said the jury threw out the assault, outrage and unlawful detention claims in its verdict delivered earlier this week, ruling the employee's acts were reasonable.

Via email, Nelson said Walmart would be filing a proposed judgment in their favor in the coming days. Nelson thanked the jury and said he was pleased with the verdict.

Nieves claimed she had been profiled by the employee, saying she was approached for her physical appearance. Theft charges against her were later dropped for lack of evidence, according to court documents.

Spokane woman sues Walmart, claiming she was profiled

A Spokane jury will hear the civil case filed against Walmart by a woman who claims she was profiled as a shoplifter and humiliated by a store employee in December 2011.

 

Beyonce Nieves sued the Arkansas-based retailer in Spokane County Superior Court, asking for damages resulting from assault, unlawful imprisonment and outrage for an incident that took place at the Shadle Park location on Dec. 9, 2011. Attorneys for Walmart claim their employee, a store loss prevention officer, acted reasonably when he confronted Nieves outside the store, alleging she’d secreted some stockings in a backpack and walked out without paying.

 

The confrontation led to Nieves allegedly disrobing in the parking lot in an attempt to prove her innocence, pulling up her shirt and pulling down her pants, according to court documents. The police were called and charges against her were later dropped when investigators could not prove she’d stolen anything.

 

The employee said in court filings he witnessed Nieves place the stockings in the pocket of her hooded sweatshirt. Attorneys for Walmart also want jurors to hear about a previous incident at a Fred Meyer store in which Nieves was captured on video “engaging in a crime of dishonesty” similar to the alleged Walmart shoplifting, according to court documents.

 

Nieves claims that she was singled out for surveillance because of her physical appearance. Security video will be played at trial, in which Nieves claims there is no evidence she took any items without paying.

 

Walmart has denied the allegations against itself and its employee through an attorney. The company claims Nieves was responsible for whatever consequences, physical or otherwise, resulted from the incident.

Sheriff’s Office looking for Walmart flashlight thief

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is hoping the public can shed some light on a man they say stole a flashlight from a Spokane Valley Walmart over the weekend.

The man was captured on surveillance video entering the store at 5025 E. Sprague Ave. around 4 p.m. Sunday. He is a white male, wearing jeans, a grey collarless shirt and a dark zip-up sweatshirt with a light beard and short cropped hair.

According to an undercover officer in the store, the man left the location without paying for a flashlight he was carrying. When confronted in the parking lot, the man brandished a knife and fled to a nearby vehicle.

Police ran the vehicle's plates, which were written down by the store officer. The car was reported stolen. It has been recovered by authorities, but police have no leads on a suspect.

If you have information about the incident, the Sheriff's Office is asking that you contact Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or online at crimestoppersinlandnorthwest.org. A cash reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in this case.

Woman banned from Walmart arrested at Walmart

Charnay Robinson may have taken one too many trips to the superstore.

Robinson, 27, was arrested Monday at the Walmart on East Sprague after police say she used a Visa credit card that had been reported stolen this weekend. Account records showed 13 charges totaling more than $750 on the card between Saturday and Monday, with seven of them occurring at the Walmart, mostly for prepaid debit cards that can be used anywhere. Cameras caught Robinson making those purchases Sunday.

According to court documents, Robinson was banned from Walmart stores nationwide in May. It was not clear in the records what caused that ban.

Police picked up Robinson after she returned to the Walmart on Monday. She was found at the customer service desk trying “to get help with a Walmart gift card that was not working,” according to court documents.

Robinson appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Tuesday, facing seven charges of burglary and one theft charge. Her bail was set at $2,050. Police note in court records more charges are likely to be filed.

WalMart shoplifter headbutts cashier

Police are trying to identify a man who headbutted a WalMart cashier while shoplifting last week.

An image from a surveillance video shows the man at the store on East Broadway Avenue in Spokane Valley.

A cashier told police he approached the man when he saw him walking toward the west exit with a large bulge in his sweatshirt about 12:45 a.m. July 24.

The man tried to exit, but the doors were locked, so he headbutted the cashier and escaped through a fire exit, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. The thief dropped stolen items in the process.

The Sheriff''s Office released the surveillance photo today in hopes someone will recognize the man.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jack Rosenthal at (509) 220-6424 or at (509) 477-3186.
  

Pic shows possible child luring suspect

Spokane police are trying to identity a person of interest in an attempted child luring.

The incident occurred April 11 at the Shadle Park WalMart on West Wellesley Avenue, police said today.

Anyone with information on the man's identity is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Idaho burglary suspect arrested in Valley

A suspect in a string of burglaries in North Idaho was arrested Friday after a shoplifting incident turned violent at the Spokane Valley Wal-Mart.

 Susan Burke, 50, was out of custody on $5,000 bond awaiting trial in Kootenai County when a store security officer spotted her leaving the store with concealed merchandise Friday about 1:40 p.m.

Employees tried to stop Burke, but she struggled with them and threw her purse toward the door. Employees grabbed it e and found Burke's driver's license inside. They checked Burke's name in store records and discovered she'd been banned in 2010 from all stores for life after getting caught shoplifting twice.

Burke, who is scheduled for trial in Kootenai County in May for property crimes, was booked into jail on theft, burglary and robbery charges after police contacted her at her home at 303 E. Indiana Ave.

Police also contacted a 17-year-old boy who lives with Burke at the home and is identified as her boyfriend.

The boy is charged in juvenile court for an incident last July in which he allegedly failed to call for help after his friend fell in the Spokane River and drowned.

Stolen car recovered 20 minutes later

Spokane police are reminding motorists not to leave their running cars unattended after a vehicle was stolen this morning.

The victim said the car was left warming up in front of their home in the 1500 block of West Carlisle Avenue when it was stolen about 6:30 a.m.

An officer spotted the vehicle in the Shadle Park Walmart parking lot about 20 minutes later and arrested Dustin Richard Burrows, 31, (pictured) on a charge of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Police say it's OK to warm up a vehicle on private property, but running vehicles left unattended on the street can garner a fine of $124. They also are frequently stolen.

“Car thieves are most active in the early mornings, especially when cars are warming up,” according to a news release by Officer Ryan Snider. “Police ask that you sit in the vehicle while it is warming up to prevent it from being stolen.”

Burrows was sentenced in Spokane County Superior Court just three weeks ago to drug treatment for a felony controlled substance charge, according to court records.

Kid’s cellphone photo helps nab suspects

A 5-year-old child who grabbed his mother's cellphone from her purse during a shopping trip inadvertently helped arrest two repeat theft suspects in Spokane.

The child accidentally took pictures of the suspects' vehicle as they fled with the woman's purse just after 5 p.m. Tuesday outside the Walmart on North Colton Street, according to the Spokane Police Department.

The pictures included the car's license plate number, which police say matched the car driven by purse-snatching suspects Andrew V. Auerbach, 24, and Samantha D. Thomas, 21.

The couple already is accused of purse snatchings in April and May but was allowed to stay out of jail pending trial. Police arrested them again today and booked them into Spokane County Jail on new felony theft charges.

Police are looking for the victim of an attempted purse snatching outside Winco on North Nevada Street that occurred about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The victim is urged to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Robbery suspects were wannabe roomies

Three teenagers accused of robbing women in north Spokane parking lots say they planned to use the money to get an apartment together, according to court documents.

Now Donovan T. Johnson, 18; Keona A. Crossley, 19; and Logan R. Sims, 18, are sharing space at Spokane County's crossbar motel.

The suspects were arrested Saturday after a standoff at Crossley's home at 1903 E. Decatur. Police found suspect Logan R. Sims, 18, in a nearby yard.

Johnson told detectives that two days befor the hesits, he and the other suspects discussed getting an apartment.

“Keona Crossley said they needed to do some licks to get money,” according to a probable cause affidavit. “Crossley talked about finding women and taking their purses from them. Sims said he could get a gun to help them do the robberies.”

Johnson said Crossley got a shutgun from a friend, but Sims used a black handgun to commit the first robbery at the North Colton Street Wal-Mart. The victim said Sims punched her in the face after she told him she didn't have any money, according to the affidavit.

Johnson said he didn't see Sims point the gun at the second victim outside Northtown Mall, but that he did have the gun on him during the robbery, police said.

A witness then reported occupants of a tan vehicle were dropping credit cards and receipts into the roadway near North Napa Street and East Central Avenue.

The cards belonged to the Northtown robbery victim, police said.

Police arrived at Crossley's home after locating a Cadillac matching the description of the car used in the robberies

All remain in jail on $75,000 bond after Judge Michael Price deemed them significant risks to the community.

Sims and Johnson are scheduled to graduate from high school next week.

Mud thwarts father-son theft suspects

A father and son became stuck in the mud Tuesday while leading police on an interstate chase after attempting to steal merchandise from the Wal-Mart just east of the Idaho-Washington border.

Michael R. Dyczok, 64, (left) and Michael Dyczok, Jr., 35, (right) were arrested near East Wellesley Avenue and North Harvard Road just before 11 p.m. after leading Post Falls police on a high-speed chase in a blue Volkswagen Jetta.

Post Falls police began watching Wal-Mart after an employee said the men had filled storage containers with merchandise earlier that day and placed them near the fire exit. Police saw the men grab the storage containers and flee through the fire exit, then speed away in the Jetta.  

But the father and son duo drove down a dead end road just across the Washington border and got stuck in mud, police say. Liberty Lake police assisted with the arrests.

Police say the Dyczoks threw a stolen X-Box from their car during the chase. It was recovered, along with other stolen merchandise located in the Jetta.

The men were booked into jail on charges of eluding police and tampering with evidence. The younger Dyczok also faces a charge of driving on a suspended California license.

86’d from Walmart, return leads to arrest

A Spokane woman banned from all Walmarts was arrested for felony burglary Sunday after returning to the Spokane Valley store.

Billee Jo Koller, 36, tried to steal more than $80 in men's clothing from the store at 15727 E. Broadway Ave., according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.
 
Koller was prohibited from going to the Walmart after she was caught shoplifting last October, police said.
 
That condition upgraded her shoplifting allegation to a second-degree burglary charge. She also was booked for third-degree theft and warrants for theft and drug possession.

2nd deputy hurt in shooting goes home

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — The Kitsap County sheriff's office says the second of two deputies wounded during a deadly shootout in the parking lot of the Port Orchard, Wash., Walmart has been released from the hospital.

The agency says 48-year-old Andrew Ejde (Eh-dah) was discharged Wednesday afternoon from Tacoma General Hospital. He was shot in the left shoulder and right arm.

Deputy John Stacy was wounded in the right shoulder and went home from the hospital Monday.

Killed in the Sunday gunfight was 31-year-old Anthony A. Martinez of Salt Lake City. The parents of a missing Utah teen say they believe their daughter is the 13-year-old girl who was also shot and killed. She has not yet been positively identified.

A third deputy, who shot and killed Martinez, was identified as 38-year-old Krista McDonald.

Read more by clicking the link below.

Man ID’d in shootout that hurt deputies

SEATTLE (AP) — Investigators face a difficult puzzle to piece together as they work to determine why a Utah man bolted and began shooting at sheriff's deputies in a Walmart parking lot, leading to a gunfight that left him and a young woman dead and two deputies wounded.

A day after the shootout in Port Orchard, Wash., a small city about 15 miles west and across Puget Sound from Seattle, officials said Monday they still couldn't say why Anthony A. Martinez, 31, of Salt Lake City, suddenly ran and opened fire during what began as a routine contact by deputies.

“That's going to be the million-dollar question,” said Kitsap County sheriff's spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson. “We certainly can't talk to him anymore or to the young woman who is believed to be with him.”

Despite a number of attempts using photos and other methods, the young woman's name and age could not immediately be determined, said Trooper Krista Hedstrom of the Washington State Patrol, which is leading the investigation.

“So far, we've come up with nothing,” she said.

She said an autopsy Monday might provide more clues, but doubted that a positive identification and notification of next of kin could occur by the end of the day.

The Deseret News in Salt Lake City reported last week that police had issued an endangered persons advisory for a 13-year-old runaway believed to be traveling with Martinez. The girl, who fled from a South Salt Lake foster home on Tuesday, also had run away last fall and was found in Sacramento with him, the newspaper said.

Hedstrom said investigators learned of the advisory Monday morning.

“I don't want to speculate whether it's the runaway girl because we don't know that,” she said.

Read the rest of the Associated Press story by clicking the link below.

(Sgt. Russ Clithero and Deputy Chris Andrews of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Department are pictured above exiting Tacoma General Hospital after visiting their wounded colleague.)

2 deputies hurt in fatal Walmart shooting

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) — Detectives are investigating why a man ran from deputies and then opened fire in a Walmart parking lot in Western Washington, sparking a shootout that killed him and a young woman who ran to him after he was shot. Two sheriff's deputies were shot but are expected to survive.

The officers were responding to a call Sunday about a suspicious person at the store in Port Orchard, about 15 miles west of Seattle across Puget Sound. Two deputies found the man and tried to talk to him but he began running, and they gave chase.  “For reasons not yet known, the suspect turned and fired multiple shots,” Kitsap County sheriff's spokesman Scott Wilson said.

Both officers were hit and unable to return fire, but a female officer arriving on the scene shot and killed the gunman, Wilson said. It's not yet clear who shot the woman, believed to be in her late teens, who died later at a Tacoma hospital. Ballistics tests on the bullets could show whether it was the deputy or the suspect, the state patrol said.

“We believe that she and the deceased gunman knew each other, that they were together,” Wilson told The Associated Press. He said investigators don't know yet the relationship between the two.

Destany Droge, 22, of Bremerton, said the two people killed appeared to be a couple.

“As soon as she saw him get shot, she ran for him,” she told The News Tribune of Tacoma. “She put herself in the line of fire.”

Tacoma police said the deputies were both shot in the torso and were in satisfactory condition.

“I've seen just the one deputy, he's in one of the rooms talking with family and co-workers,” said Mark Fulghum of the Tacoma police. “Both of the deputies are going to be fine. They're going to be kept overnight for observation.”

Autopsies were scheduled Monday for the two people killed. Their names — as well as the names of the three deputies — haven't been released. Investigators said the Kitsap County coroner was still trying to confirm the dead man's identity Monday morning.

A blue minivan that apparently belonged to the suspect has been impounded and will be searched for possible evidence, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Krista Hedstrom. The van has out-of-state plates, but Hedstrom didn't know what state.

The female deputy involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative assignment until the investigation is completed, which is standard practice.

Shoppers raced to take cover as the incident unfolded.

The officers were about 30 to 40 feet behind the suspect when he started firing, Ray Bourge told KOMO-TV. “Five or six shots were fired. … I just went and took cover,” he said.

Victor Meyers told the station that he heard the first shot, then six more in rapid succession.

“I heard one shot, which I thought was a car backfiring, and then several more reported back, which I knew to be gunfire,” Meyers said.

He said he saw a female deputy running toward a victim on the ground before he and other witnesses were hustled from the scene.

The store was immediately locked down. Customers in the store were allowed to leave after investigators questioned them. The store reopened Sunday night, Hedstrom said, and the shooting scene was cleared.

Port Orchard is the county seat and has about 8,250 residents. The last time a Kitsap County sheriff's deputy was shot in the line of duty was in April 1978, according to The Tacoma News Tribune. Deputy Dennis Allred stopped to help what he believed to be a stranded driver towing another vehicle. The vehicle turned out to be stolen, and Allred was shot and killed by the suspects.

Men admit to stealing dead people’s IDs

Two Spokane men who used the names of dead people to create driver’s licenses and pass bad checks are headed to federal prison.

Alphonso Guster, 46, and Vladimir A. Bibas, 25, were arrested in December after passing checks at Walmart in Moscow, Idaho. The men had about 25 fraudulent driver’s licenses they were using to pass checks at area businesses, according to court documents. Prosecutors say they bought merchandise with the checks, then returned the items for cash refunds.

The men faced felony forgery charges in Nez Perce County, but those charges were dismissed after a federal grand jury indicted them in February 2010.

Guster was sentenced Monday to 39 months in prison and five years probation after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to bank fraud and aggravated identity theft in August.

Bibas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in August and was sentenced Oct. 25 to six months in prison and two years of probation. Both men are to pay $6,628.11 in restitution.

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