Police: 2 suspects visiting from Las Vegas planned theft at St. George Target

St. George Police officers at Target in St. George, Utah | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A man and woman visiting St. George from Las Vegas were arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing more than $1,500 in merchandise from a big-box retailer after police say they planned the crime before leaving Las Vegas.

Joshua Edward Pirnie, of Philadelphia, Pa., bookings photo posted in Washington County, Utah, May 28, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Josh Pirnie, 31, of Philadelphia, appeared in 5th District Court Thursday on three charges, including second-degree felony theft by receiving, third-degree felony retail theft and misdemeanor failing to stop at an officer’s command.

Jade Culwick, 26, of Las Vegas, appeared in 5th District court Friday on second-degree theft by receiving stolen property, third-degree felony retail theft and five misdemeanor charges, including providing false information with intent to be another actual person, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and use or possession of paraphernalia.

A third individual, Darlien Munoz, who was with the pair at the time of the alleged theft, was arrested on unrelated charges Sunday morning.

Culwick’s and Pirnie’s charges stem from an incident Tuesday when officers responded to the Sinclair gas station at 994 E. St. George Boulevard to assist with a reported retail theft involving two individuals reportedly seen taking items from the Target store on River Road, according to the probable cause statements filed in support of suspects’ arrests.

A witness observed a man, later identified as Pirnie, allegedly leaving Target with a cart full of items without paying and then driving away in a white pickup truck. The witness called 911 and followed the pickup until it pulled into the gas station.

Jade Victoria Culwick, of Las Vegas, Nev., bookings photo posted in Washington County, Utah, May 28, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Officers arrived at Sinclair to find Pirnie leaving the store, and as they approached, the report states that the defendant jumped back in the pickup and attempted to flee but was stopped and detained by police. Culwick was also in the pickup truck, along with a third individual who police say was not involved in the Target incident.

Police state that a records check on the pickup indicated it was a rental car out of Las Vegas that was a month overdue, and the rental agency was in the process of reporting the car stolen.

During questioning Pirnie allegedly told police he borrowed the truck “from a friend of a friend” but could not provide any detailed information on the owner of the truck.

Culwick was also questioned and initially provided officers with two different names when asked to identify herself, according to the statement, both of which were not her real name. Once police accurately identified the defendant, she allegedly admitted to going into the store with Pirnie.

Culwick told police it was Pirnie who placed a number of items in a laundry basket. She reportedly told the officers she only realized Pirnie planned to steal the items when he “began acting weird,” which is when she left him inside the store and waited in the pickup truck.

Darlien D. Munoz, of Las Vegas, Nev., bookings photo posted in Washington County, Utah, June 2, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Pirnie returned a short time later and allegedly placed the items in the back of the pickup truck, and Culwick then drove to Sinclair where the pair were subsequently confronted by police.

Police then interviewed the third individual in the pickup truck, Munoz, who reportedly told police that Culwick entered the store first to begin collecting the merchandise. Police state they determined Culwick and Pirnie “had planned the trip from Las Vegas to St. George to steal items from stores.”

During a search of the truck, officers located the allegedly stolen property valued at $1,562.81 and returned the items to the store. Police state they also found suspected methamphetamine and heroin in Culwick’s purse.

Culwick and Pirnie were arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility where they were booked on the alleged offenses Tuesday.

Shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday, Munoz — who police had determined was not involved in Tuesday’s incident at Target — was arrested in St. George and booked into jail on 13 third-degree felony offenses, including two counts of obtaining encoded card information; 10 counts of possessing finance card information to use and one count of possession of multiple identification documents. No further details about her arrest were available at the time of this report.

This report is based on statements from police and may not contain the full scope of findings. 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, 2019, all rights reserved.

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