2 men low on cash after losing money in Las Vegas allegedly steal $3,000 in Walmart merchandise

Washington City Police patrol car, stock image | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two men allegedly went on a retail shoplifting spree, stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from three Walmart stores, after reportedly losing their money in Las Vegas.

Christian Ryan Johnson, 28, of Hemet, California, booking photo posted Feb. 14, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Christian Ryan Johnson, 28, and Michael Graham Johnson, 30, both of Hemet, California, allegedly hit Walmart stores in Mesquite, Nevada, Bloomington and Washington City where they were subsequently caught and detained Wednesday, according to a probable cause statement filed by Washington City Police in support of the arrests.

The men were both charged in 5th District Court with two third-degree felony counts of retail theft, three class A misdemeanor counts for possession of drugs and theft detection shielding devices, along with a class B misdemeanor count of drug paraphernalia possession. Christian Johnson faces an additional third-degree felony charge of possession of another’s identification.

The alleged shoplifting spree came to an end Wednesday after Washington City Walmart security observed the men in the store removing security wrap from merchandise and called police, according to the statement.

Police located the men attempting to exit the store through an emergency exit in the Garden Center with more than $500 in stolen merchandise and a magnetic device used to deactivate security devices, police said.

Michael Graham Johnson, of Hemet, California, booking photo posted Feb. 14, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Christian Johnson admitted that he had intended to steal four Apple TVs from the store, the report states.

Police learned that the two men had hit Bloomington Walmart at 6 a.m. that same day and had left the store with $2,351 in stolen merchandise, according to a probable cause statement filed by St. George Police in support of the arrests.

Michael Johnson admitted to stealing various items with his friend Christian Johnson, the arresting officer wrote in the statement, adding:

Michael said he was low on money after losing in Las Vegas.

Upon searching their vehicle, police located numerous stolen items from Walmart in Mesquite and Bloomington, a glass pipe, a digital scale, spoons and syringes with brown residue, a black tar substance consistent with heroin and a white crystalline rock consistent with methamphetamine, along with a driver’s license and two Social Security cards not belonging to either of the two men, the report states.

The two men were arrested and transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

Both men made their initial appearance in court Thursday before 5th District Judge Eric A. Ludlow. They are both scheduled to make their next court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

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

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • comments February 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    why is it always drug addicts doing this stuff?

    • Striker4 February 19, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      Yeah right it’s only drug addicts that do stuff like this. so says the Prophet

  • Caveat_Emptor February 19, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    No wonder Hemet has failed to recover from the real estate mess of 2008, with guys like this living there……It gives Riverside County a bad image….

    • DRT February 19, 2018 at 4:45 pm

      Nothing could give Riverside County, or the cities and towns therein, a “bad image.” They all got that “bad image” decades ago….

  • utahdiablo February 19, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    Ahhh, more POS from Riverside ( Hemet ) California…..keep building and they will come and Rob you…enjoy the future

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