Suspect arrested with 2 large TVs from Walmart, tells officers he ‘forgot to pay for them’

File photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE A Nevada man was arrested by officers in Washington City after he allegedly left Walmart with two large flat-screen TVs and other items Wednesday morning, police say.

Washington City Walmart, April 24, 2016 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Anthony Lewis of Henderson, Nevada was arrested shortly before 4 a.m. and booked into Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility on a third-degree felony offense of retail theft $500-$1,500.

The incident began shortly after 1:15 a.m. when officers were dispatched to Walmart at 625 W. Telegraph Street on a reported theft, Washington City Police Lt. Jason Williams said.

Store employees told officers that a man, later identified as Lewis, was seen loading two “big flat-screen TV’s into a cart before he left the store without paying for the merchandise,” Williams said.

Lewis was also seen putting clothing items into shopping bags that he brought into the store with him, a witness said, and left without paying for the items.

Lewis was seen loading the televisions into a black GMC Yukon and driving off.

A short time later, officers stopped a Yukon matching the description provided by store employees, and while speaking to the driver noticed two new televisions in the rear of the SUV.

“The TVs were still in the box and unopened when he was stopped by for a lane violation,” Williams said, adding that Lewis told the officers that “he forgot to pay for the TV’s before leaving the store.”

Williams said it isn’t the first time police have heard that response, particularly when the individual is in possessions of the items when they are stopped and questioned by police.

Lewis was taken to jail and his vehicle impounded.

Walmart loss prevention

Walmart corporate spokesman Casey Staheli said that while no retailers are immune to the challenges of crime, “the relationship between the stores and law enforcement helps to reduce the amount of loss, particularly when the items are recovered so quickly,” and commended the efforts of the officers in this case.

He said Walmart invests heavily in loss prevention, adding that those efforts are moving from detecting crime to deterring it through  “people, programs and technology.”

The three-prong effort includes adding thousands of “host positions” across the country filled by employees positioned near the front of the store to check customer receipts and answer questions, Staheli said. The company also has installed thousands of eye-level cameras that are easy to see and provided additional training for asset-protection employees to help them prevent a theft before it occurs.

The loss prevention effort is part of a $2.7 billion investment in an array of programs the company is implementing.

“It’s an investment that’s paying off, and the relationship between the stores and the local police department is an important part of that,” he said.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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5 Comments

  • Carpe Diem November 14, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    So the mugshot on this guy IIRC looks a lot like the team from Vegas with the anti-theft device on them. Only older. What did he do, a test run with some clothes, then good with that, go for the big Enchilada? Why not three TV’s and a laptop? OOOPS. Another tourist visiting our accommodating Purgatory Visitor Center.

    Phone home for a couple thousand in bail money! No rush though, they feeding him good in there!

  • KR567 November 14, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    enjoy your stay at the Purgatory Hacienda ..courtesy of the Washington County citizens…

  • Kilroywashere November 14, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    When will they learn? Washington County law enforcement agencies love to catch criminals. Your odds are better in Vegas or for that matter, anywhere but here. Purgatory however is probably way better than a jail in Nevada. So there is somewhat of a consolation prize.

  • DB November 15, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    I’d think your ‘odds’ (pun intended) would be better taking the big screen TVs from a Walmart in Vegas at 1am than one in Washington County Utah.

  • mesaman November 15, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Honest your honor, I don’t know how those TVs got put in my pocket. Someone must have slipped them to me while I was going out the door.

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