Man busted for drugs during shoplifting round 2

WASHINGTON CITY — A Cedar City man was arrested Wednesday for drugs and theft after he allegedly stole merchandise from Wal-Mart in Washington Tuesday and then returned the next day, attempting to steal from the store again.

Justin Nelson, of Cedar City, Utah, booking photo posted June 3, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Justin Nelson, of Cedar City, Utah, booking photo posted June 3, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Officers responded to Wal-Mart, 625 W. Telegraph Street, on a retail theft report Wednesday, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Washington City Police Department in support of the arrests.

Police spoke with the suspect, identified as 21-year-old Justin Nelson, who admitted to concealing items in his pants and walking out of the store without paying for them, the statement said. Surveillance footage also showed Nelson removing a security device off a phone in an attempt to steal it.

Wal-Mart employees told police Nelson was also a suspect in a separate theft incident that occurred on Tuesday.

Surveillance footage showed Nelson remove another security device and conceal an electronic tablet in the front of his pants, the statement said. Nelson admitted to police it was him in the video, and he was placed under arrest.

While searching Nelson’s wallet, officers discovered a finance card that did not belong to him, the statement said, and, while speaking with Nelson, officers observed his “pupils were dilated, and his face was flush.”

A narcotics K-9 officer was deployed on Nelson’s car parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot for a sniff test, the statement said, and the K-9 alerted its handler to the presence of drugs.

A glass pipe containing burnt methamphetamine was found in the center console of Nelson’s vehicle, according to the statement.

Nelson was transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked.

He was charged with two third-degree felonies for unlawful acquisition of a finance card and drug possession; and five class B misdemeanors for possession of drug paraphernalia, retail theft and damaging retail theft detection shielding devices.

His bail pending trial stands at $8,303.

Nelson’s initial court date is scheduled for Thursday.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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