Nov 5, 2015

Lovell couple charged with stealing three TVs from Wal-Mart

Authorities are seeking the arrests of a Lovell couple who allegedly walked out of the Cody Wal-Mart with three stolen TVs and other items back in August. Cody police say a store manager stopped the couple on their third trip out of the store, as they tried to take a fourth television.

Authorities concluded that this surveillance footage from Wal-Mart showed Rodriguez and Jolley stealing a TV, the first of four they allegedly took. Photo courtesy Cody Police Department
A Park County Circuit Court judge recently issued warrants for Brian G. Rodriguez, 31, and Shanna Rae Jolley, 26. The Park County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged both Rodriguez and Jolley with a felony count of shoplifting $1,000 or more and a misdemeanor count of wrongful disposing of property.

The thefts occurred within the span of an hour on Aug. 4, with the suspected thieves fleeing after being confronted by a manager.

To help identify the suspects, Cody police posted images from Wal-Mart’s surveillance cameras to Facebook; police received several tips that the male in the pictures was Rodriguez and the female Jolley.

The couple agreed to speak with Cody Police Detective Jason Stafford on Aug. 17.

“Jolley admitted that ... she and Rodriguez needed money, so they came up with the idea of going into Wal-Mart to steal a television to sell,” Stafford wrote in an affidavit filed in support of the charges.

Rodriguez similarly said that “because they are both unemployed and their rent and other bills were due, they decided to see if they could walk out of Wal-Mart with a television,” Stafford recounted.

At the start of the interview, Rodriguez “told me that it was a stupid decision, and he was here to pay the consequences,” Stafford wrote.

“Jolley admitted that ... she and Rodriguez needed money, so they came up with the idea of going into Wal-Mart to steal a television to sell,” charging documents say.

The couple told Stafford they borrowed a family member’s vehicle for the drive to Cody, then went into the store, got a 60-inch Vizio television and walked out without paying for it.

Rodriguez said the couple then went back inside the store and split up; this time, Rodriguez said he took out a 55-inch TV and loaded that into their vehicle, too, Stafford wrote.

Rodriguez initially insisted that the 55-inch TV was the only thing he’d stolen on that trip. However, after being confronted with a photograph of his cart in a follow-up interview, Rodriguez admitted to also making off with a 28-inch television and a vacuum cleaner, Stafford wrote.

Rodriguez initially said he'd only taken a 55-inch TV on his second trip from the store, but admitted there were other items in the cart after being confronted with the surveillance footage, charging documents allege. Photo courtesy Cody Police Department
The couple then went back inside the store and got another 60-inch TV, a teddy bear and a card, Stafford wrote. On their way out, however, they were confronted by a Wal-Mart employee and took off, Stafford wrote of the couple’s account.

Shortly after the thefts, Jolley reportedly listed the 60-inch TV for sale in the “Guys Gear Swap Site” Facebook group; she allegedly asked for $600 for the originally $748 item.

According to the charging affidavit, Lovell Mayor Angel Montanez ended up buying the TV.

Montanez told police he’d messaged Jolley and asked if she would hold onto the television until he received his next paycheck. Jolley and Rodriguez instead showed up at Montanez’s home with the device and sold it to him for $200 up front and $400 later, Montanez told Stafford.

However, the mayor later saw the Cody Police Department’s Facebook post about the thefts from Wal-Mart, recognized Rodriguez and Jolley in the surveillance camera footage and contacted the authorities, the affidavit says.

Montanez ultimately turned the 60-inch TV over to Cody police and Rodriguez and Jolley turned over the 55-inch TV, which they said they’d been using at their home, Stafford wrote. As for the 28-inch TV and the vacuum cleaner, Rodriguez reportedly told Stafford they’d been sold to people he didn’t know.

The affidavit says the stolen items totaled $1,622 in value.

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