Police accuse man of theft, forgery

From Local Sources


JASPER — A Friday afternoon call reporting a possible shoplifter leaving the Walmart Supercenter resulted in an arrest.

The Jasper Police Department said Walmart’s asset protection staff was able to identify the suspect in the 1 p.m. incident as Jeffery V. Lawless, 34, 4461 Obing Strasse, because of prior interactions and by the vehicle he drove.

Police detained Lawless at his address and transported him to the police station for questioning.

After waiving his rights, police said, Lawless allegedly stated he had bought two expensive electronic items that were mislabeled at a much lower price. When asked how he obtained fictitious UPC codes, police said, Lawless allegedly stated he did not want to further incriminate himself.

Police say Lawless did admit to knowing the codes on the items were incorrect, as they were labeled as priced at $3 when the items were worth in excess of $300 total.

Lawless stated the labels were on the items prior to his taking of the wrapping off them.

Due to the altering of UPC labels and/or the possession of items with false UPC labels, police preliminarily charged Lawless with Level 6 felony counts of forgery and theft. Police said the preliminary theft charge was enhanced because of prior theft convictions.

Authorities booked Lawless into the Dubois County Security Center at 5:41 p.m. He posted a $750 bond that night.

As the investigation continues, police said, there is the potential for additional charges as information is collected

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