ST. GEORGE – A 33-year-old man suspected of stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from department stores in Hurricane, St. George and Washington City was arrested last week.
John Diedrich, who has an address listed out of Clovis, California, was arrested Wednesday after a security officer observed his actions at the Hurricane Walmart, according to a probable cause statement written in support of his arrest. Diedrich was allegedly seen putting items in two bags and then hiding them in the store before leaving.
The security officer inventoried items in one of the bags before Diedrich returned to retrieve it, estimating the items’ collective value to be $2,360.
Diedrich returned to the store a third time and allegedly started filling up a cart with items. He was recognized by security and subsequently detained while the Hurricane City Police Department was contacted and an officer responded. Diedrich was taken into custody by police and transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane.
While Diedrich was at the county jail, a Washington City department store contacted police about a theft that a store associate believed Diedrich had committed there last month.
The responding police officer was told that Diedrich entered the store Feb. 27 and took items and placed them in a reusable bag that he hid in the men’s department of the store. He would later return and leave with the items in the bag without paying, according to the police report; the total value of the items in the bag was $1,902.
The responding Washington City Police officer wrote in the statement that he was able to identify Diedrich as the man involved in the Washington City theft by comparing previous photos of the man with new ones taken at the Hurricane Walmart.
When asked if he had taken merchandise from the Washington City store, Diedrich told the officer he didn’t remember, nor did he recall going to the Washington City store, according to the probable cause statement.
The next day, a St. George Police officer responded to a “delayed retail theft” report at the Bloomington Walmart. The officer was told about two instances in which Diedrich was again believed to be involved.
On the same day as the alleged Washington City theft, police said Diedrich went to the Bloomington Walmart and put assorted electronics in “a large reusable bag” and left without paying the estimated $1,528 value of the items. He would return March 18 and do the same thing, this time leaving with over $4,700-worth of electronics merchandise.
“I compared surveillance footage and confirmed it was the same male suspect arrested in Hurricane as the thefts in St. George,” the responding St. George Police officer wrote.
The collective estimated value of all the items taken from the department stores was over $10,000.
Diedrich was subsequently charged with three third-degree felonies and one second-degree felony for the alleged retail thefts.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.