Thursday, June 6, 2013
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COVINGTON -- The Newton County Sheriff's Office has arrested three suspects who were apparently involved in a scheme to shoplift merchandise and then return it for cash.
Deputy Felicia Jefferson said the three suspects -- all from Covington -- were arrested Wednesday afternoon at the Wal-Mart on Salem Road.
Jefferson said deputies were initially called to the store around 12:30 p.m. in response to the shoplifting of a TV stand. A store employee had reportedly confronted a male shoplifting suspect as he tried to exit the store. The suspect ran, but deputies located him before he could get in a waiting vehicle occupied by his father and a woman.
During their investigation, deputies received consent to search the car and found several Wal-Mart receipts and used Wal-Mart bags inside. Jefferson said deputies were able to determine that the suspects were "using the receipts and bags to get refunds for items they had not purchased."
Jefferson said it was not yet known where the suspects had gotten the receipts.
Deputies also found some drug paraphernalia inside the car, according to Jefferson.
The man who ran from the store was identified as Anthony Lee Dean Jr., 26, of 35 Ashford Cove. He has been charged with theft by shoplifting.
Also arrested was Erica Nicole Walden, 25, of 30 Oak Ridge Drive, charged with theft by deception and possession of drug-related objects.
Dean's father, Anthony Lee Dean Sr., 49, also of 35 Ashford Cove, was charged with driving on the wrong side of the roadway, possession of drug-related objects and criminal attempt to commit shoplifting. Jefferson said Dean Sr. was caught on store surveillance tape earlier in the day walking around with a bicycle and a store receipt.