Woman sentenced for multiple thefts committed while in disguise

ST. GEORGE — A Nevada woman has been sentenced for a theft spree in St. George, during which she donned wigs and other disguises and returned to the same stores multiple times.

Rebecca Theresa Yates, 37, of Las Vegas, was sentenced Wednesday in 5th District Court on four charges to which she pleaded guilty, including third-degree felony theft by receiving stolen property and three misdemeanors — possession of a controlled substance, shoplifting and manufacture/possession of burglary tools.

The case stems from an incident reported Oct. 6, 2018, involving theft at the Kohl’s department store in St. George. The store’s manager told police that a woman wearing a black wig, later identified as Yates, was seen entering and exiting the department store and other nearby shops. She was then seen going to a pickup truck, where she unloaded the items taken from the businesses and changed her clothing and wig before going back into various shops.

Yates was arrested a short time after the theft was reported. She was booked into jail and was released two days later after posting bond.

A $15,000 warrant was issued for the defendant’s arrest in April when she failed to appear in court. She was arrested on the warrant two months later and remained in jail until Wednesday’s hearing.

During the hearing, District Court Judge G. Michael Westfall asked the defendant if she had anything to say before he passed sentencing.

Rebecca Yates, 36, of Las Vegas, Nev., booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, Aug. 5, 2019 | File photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

“No, I apologize and thank you,” Yates replied.

The defendant was ordered to serve 52 days in jail with a credit of 52 days for time served. A prison sentence of 0-5 years was suspended, as was a jail sentence for the misdemeanors. Instead, she was placed on 36-months probation with Adult Probation and Parole and ordered to pay a $1,600 fine.

Yates was also ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and to earn a GED or high school diploma. She is required to write an apology letter to Kohl’s department store and the other businesses she took merchandise from. She was not ordered to pay restitution, as prosecutor Mark Barlow told the judge that all of the items taken from the stores were found in the defendant’s possession at the time of her arrest and then returned to the stores.

Westfall ordered that Yates be released from jail and told her that before she returns to Las Vegas, she will need to arrange for an interstate compact — an agreement between Utah and Nevada that allows sentencing and supervision requirements to be transferred.

As part of her plea deal, three other charges were dismissed, including misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!