Pasco police are calling it “felony theft on a layaway plan” after arresting two people for multiple shoplifting trips to Walmart.
Store security staff called police at 7:07 p.m. on Wednesday to report shoplifters leaving the store in a red van. The van was stopped nearby and three people detained by police.
Pasco Walmart security told officers they documented the three people stealing seven times since April 14. Sometimes it was one person, other times it was different combinations of two of them.
They were accused of stealing more than $1,200 worth of merchandise and returning the items for cash refunds.
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Javier “JJ” Chavez Junior III, 20, of Pasco, and Dayana Bustos Ruelas, 19, were booked into the Franklin County jail on 72-hour investigative holds for second-degree organized retail theft. The third suspect was not arrested.
The crime of organized retail theft is when a suspect has stolen several times from the same store within 180 days. If the value of the stolen items totals more than $750, the crime becomes a felony.
“That’s why we referred to it as ‘a felony on the layaway plan,’” said police.