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Rash of shoplifting incidents hits Newton County Walmarts

COVINGTON, Ga. — Police were kept busy responding to shoplifting reports over the weekend at Walmart stores throughout Newton County.

Covington Police Department officers responded to five separate reports — including one in which thieves netted hundreds of dollars worth of stolen items at Walmart at 10300 Industrial Blvd.

Newton County Sheriff’s Office also responded to a report of a theft of electronics at Walmart on Salem Road on the county’s west side.

The sheriff’s office reported two black male suspects wearing face masks stole electronics from the store before leaving in a Ford Ranger between 5 and 6 p.m., said spokeswoman Caitlin Jett.

City officers then responded Sunday at 7:43 p.m. to a report of two suspects who stole $926 worth of items, including a computer monitor and four vehicle batteries, before leaving the scene in Ford and Toyota vehicles.

At 7:30 p.m., a man reportedly entered the Covington Walmart. While appearing to be on the phone, he found a computer monitor in the electronics area that was not attached to a store fixture and moved it, a report stated.

The man reportedly then went to look elsewhere in the same area and a second suspect — described as a black male wearing a black hoodie with a University of Georgia “G” logo and also talking on a phone — placed the loose computer monitor in a shopping cart. 

The first suspect exited the store and the second suspect moved to the automotive section, placed four vehicle batteries in his cart and proceeded to the front of the building. Upon seeing two employees at the exit, the suspect left the cart and exited the store, the report stated.

He then returned to the store moments later, grabbed the cart from the place he had left it, and ran with the cart past a single employee before smashing the store doors open.

The suspects then fled the scene in a white Ford Explorer and a tan Toyota Camry, the report stated. Officers were able to get a license number from the Explorer. 

The incidents followed an apparently unrelated series of additional shoplifting reports Saturday and Sunday at the Covington store on Industrial Boulevard near I-20.

City officers responded to one report Saturday, Nov. 21, and three reports Sunday, Nov. 22, in addition to the Sunday night incident.

Officers responded to a report Saturday at about 3:30 p.m. after loss prevention personnel stopped an unidentified suspect at the exit with more than $76 worth of items which had not been paid for. An officer cited the suspect on a shoplifting charge, a report stated.

On Sunday at 11:25 a.m., an officer cited a female suspect on a charge of Theft by Shoplifting after she passed all points of sale with $75 worth of items she did not scan, a report stated.

Almost two hours later on Sunday at 1:18 p.m., police cited another female suspect for shoplifting after she allegedly attempted to leave the store with $50 work of items in her cart that had not been scanned, a report stated.

As officers completed that investigation, they were told a loss prevention worker   was holding two additional shoplifting suspects.

The Walmart employee told police he observed two individuals put items into a cart and not scan them before passing all points of sale. Officers recovered items valued at $56 and returned them to Walmart. 

They then cited and released one suspect but cited the other suspect and subsequently arrested him for an outstanding warrant in Newton County and an outstanding warrant for probation violation from Braselton, the report stated.