Trial Moves to Deliberation Phase after Walmart Employee Almost Completely Foils Shoplifting

By Katherine Longjohn

WOODLAND, CA – The evidence portion of the trial of the accused for second degree robbery of a Walmart on Oct. 24 concluded Wednesday in Yolo County Superior Court after the examination of a key witness present at the scene.

Deputy District Attorney Preston Schaub called the key witness, the employee who saw and attempted to stop the alleged robbery, according to video surveillance and his witness testimony.

This employee, a former member of the U.S. Air Force, is the current Asset Protection Operations Coach for this particular Walmart, and according to him his duty is to monitor the store’s merchandise and to look out for and possibly stop potential shoplifting.

The employee was able to take notice of the accused, whom he described as being “completely covered up,” which he found to be a red flag.

Taking into consideration that most people were wearing masks at the time of the alleged incident at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the employee said, “when you have the majority of your head and forehead and your eyes are completely concealed to where you don’t want anyone looking at your face, that to me is suspicious.”

After taking notice, the employee described how he then saw the accused take a green jacket and a green satchel from the apparel section of the store and attempt to move past the point of final sale which is when the employee intervened.

The employee said he identified himself to the accused and attempted a “gentle redirection,” which is the guiding of a shoplifting suspect with an open hand away from the store’s exit, however the employee said the accused did not react well to this maneuver and tried to move past him and “leave with (his) merchandise.”

At this point, the employee describes how the accused tried to play a “tug-of-war” with the stolen merchandise and attempted to “break his grip.”

However, per Walmart’s policy, the employee described how he didn’t attempt to pull the accused, but rather “root himself in place” in order to prevent the items from being stolen.

As a result of this altercation, the employee described how the accused then slipped out of the bag he still had a grip on and ran from the store, leaving the satchel he attempted to steal behind.

While this may seem like a trivial loss for Walmart, a multinational and multibillion dollar retail corporation, the Asset Protection Operations Coach emphasized the importance of these thefts, estimating that his store loses roughly between $1,500 and $1,800 each week.

Following the dismissal of this witness, Judge Peter Williams called the evidentiary portion of this trial to a close and proceeded to read the jury instructions before entering closing arguments.

The jury is expected to move into the verdict deliberation phase Thursday.

About The Author

Katherine is a senior at USC majoring in Political Science with a minor in Gender and Social Justice. As an aspiring lawyer, she plans on attending law school after finishing her undergraduate degree in May 2022.

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