Men plead guilty in Walmart shoplifting incident

From Local Sources

JASPER — Two men pleaded guilty last week in Dubois Superior Court in a shoplifting case in which police issued surveillance photos asking for the public’s help identifying them.

Asset protection staff at the Walmart Supercenter, 4040 N. Newton St., contacted the Jasper Police Department Feb. 18 to report the theft of two pairs of wireless Sony headphones valued at $149 each.

Video footage showed one suspect pulling a pair of the headphones off a hook in the electronics department. Video footage showed the man taking the box to the men’s department, destroying and concealing the box and placing the headphones in a hoodie, according to court documents.

A few minutes later, according to court documents, the suspect returned to the electronics department and again took a pair of the headphones off a locking peg. Video again showed the packaging being destroyed in the men’s department but, this time, the male handed the headphones to the second male suspect, who placed them around his neck.

Surveillance footage showed the men exiting the store, past all points of sale, without paying for the headphones.

Police released still pictures and a media release requesting assistance identifying the men.

Court documents state Mauricio A. Nunez Lopez, 19, 532 Circle Pine Drive, Jasper, and Christian J. Cruz, 18, 219 S. Geiger St., Huntingburg, then came to the Jasper Police Station to report they were the subjects in the video footage.

Police issued an update stating the department appreciated the public’s assistance and noting that Nunez Lopez and Cruz would be charged.

Nunez Lopez told police he had taken the headphones and wanted to turn himself in because he saw his picture on social media, according to court documents. Cruz stated he obtained headphones from Nunez Lopez and left the store without paying for them only to be told by a relative that his picture was on social media.

Both men were cited into court March 13, with Nunez Lopez charged with misdemeanor counts of theft and criminal mischief and Cruz charged with misdemeanor theft.

Nunez Lopez and Cruz appeared and pleaded guilty to the charges last week, with sentencing for each set for April 3.

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