WARSAW — Woman attempts to steal fireworks from Wal-Mart, not once, but twice in the same day.
Sally Jo Hobbs, 55, 1692 E CR 200N, Warsaw, is being charged with attempted theft, a class A misdemeanor; theft, a class A misdemeanor; two counts of sentence enhancement theft enhancement level 6 felony and a class B misdemeanor of battery.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, on July 8, a Warsaw Police officer responded to a theft at Wal-Mart. When the officer arrived he spoke with a loss prevention employee, who advised on July 4, an older woman and a younger female entered the store. The two females proceeded to the fireworks area and the older female, who was later identified as Hobbs, then pushed the cart to the electronic section and the younger female left the store.
After the younger female left the store, Hobbs attempted to leave the store. The Wal-Mart greeter stopped Hobbs and asked for a receipt for all the fireworks that were in her cart. Hobbs abandoned the cart and used a one-handed obscene gesture towards the greeter and left the store.
A customer observed the confrontation between the greeter and Hobbs and followed Hobbs to her vehicle and took down the license plate number and gave it to an employee at Wal-Mart, who then gave it to officers.
Hobbs re-entered the store a short time later and went to the fireworks section once more and placed fireworks into a shopping cart. Hobbs pushed the cart to the front of the store and tried her luck going through the closed register lanes 19 and 20. Hobbs passed all points of pay without paying and left the store.
A Wal-Mart assistant manager stopped Hobbs and attempted to talk her into going back into the store. Hobbs then became irate and used foul language aimed at the employee and struck him in the upper shoulder with her purse. She once again abandons her shopping cart containing the fireworks, used the one-handed obscene gesture toward everyone close by and left the store.
The officer used the license plate number to find who the vehicle belonged to. The officer then went to the address of the vehicle owner and met with a male and a female. The female admitted she had been with Hobbs the day she attempted to steal the fireworks. The female reported she went to the vehicle to wait for Hobbs to get the fireworks, but she ended up coming back to the vehicle irate and with no fireworks. She stated she did not know Hobbs was stealing the fireworks.
The officer spoke with Hobbs over the telephone and she admitted she had been at Wal-Mart on July 4. She also advised she knew something happened at Wal-Mart involving fireworks and apologized for it.
The loss prevention employee provided officers with the surveillance video of the theft. The total value of the first cart of fireworks was $365.97. The second cart of fireworks was valued at $77.90.
Hobbs was also convicted in May in Kosciusko County Superior Court II for another theft.
Hobbs is being held on a $5,250 surety and cash bond.