Two arrests made of Walmart shoplifters

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 31, 2016

Two Mississippi residents were arrested for possessing over $3,000 worth of stolen property after a man was seen attempting to shoplift at the Picayune Walmart.

Picayune Police officers were dispatched to the area of Frontage Road around 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 23, Assistant Chief Magri said.

A complainant stated they observed a male subject allegedly attempt to shoplift at Walmart by concealing packages of meat in his pants, Magri said.

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When the subject noticed he was being watched, he threw the meat down, left the store, got into a grey SUV and fled the scene, Magri said.

Officers patrolled the area and observed a vehicle matching the description. A traffic stop was conducted at Interstate-59 near Memorial Boulevard, Magri said.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Amanda Byrd, 32, of 119 N. 14th avenue, Laurel, who was wanted by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Department for theft of over $1,500, Magri said.

The officer asked Byrd and three passengers to exit the vehicle so he could conduct a search, Magri said.

At that time, the officer observed three Nest indoor cameras valued at $199 each, five Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors valued at $99 each, five Nest Learning Thermostats valued at $249 each, two Ring video doorbells valued at $199 each and two brown trashcans containing 36 miscellaneous clothing items valued at $415. The total value of the stolen items was $3,150.55, Magri said.

The officer made contact with asset protection at the store to determine if the items were stolen locally, Magri said.

Through further investigation, it was determined the items were stolen from a Walmart in Hattiesburg, which surveillance allegedly captured Byrd and a second passenger of the vehicle, later identified as Joy Magee, 47, of 249 Two Mile Road, Prentiss, MS, at that location, Magri said.

At this time, Byrd and Magee were arrested for receiving stolen property and a hold was place on them by the Hattiesburg Police Department. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Department placed an additional hold on Byrd, Magri said.

Two other male passengers in the vehicle, including the suspect from the attempted shoplifting at the Picayune Walmart, were not arrested, Magri said.

Byrd is currently being held at the Picayune jail on a $5,000 bond. Magee has since made bond and was transferred to Hattiesburg, Magri said.

About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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