WARSAW — The Mentone teen who orchestrated for items he had stolen from Walmart to be returned for profit was sentenced today, Aug. 7, in Kosciusko Circuit Court. Judge Duane Huffer presided.
Tyler Lee Landrum, 19, Mentone, was sentenced in two cases for charges of fraud, a level 6 felony, corrupt business influence, a level 5 felony, and theft, a class A misdemeanor. Judge Huffer sentenced Landrum to one year at the Kosciusko County Jail for fraud, two years for corrupt business influence and one year for theft. The one year sentenced for fraud and six months of the sentence for corrupt business influence will be served on home detention. The remaining 1 1/2 years was suspended to be served on probation.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Oct. 23, 2016 an officer with the Warsaw Police Department responded to a theft at Walmart. Loss prevention advised they had become suspicious after Landrum had made three returns of Otterbox cell phone cases without receipts. Walmart limits an individual to three returns without a receipt.
Loss prevention began checking surveillance and monitoring return lists. On Sept. 1, 2016, Landrum stole a USB cable and a portable cell phone charger. He left the building then immediately went back inside and returned the cable for $21.27. A short time later he returned the charger for $5.22. The next day, Sept. 2, Landrum returned to Walmart and stole a USB cable and a “charging cable.” He again left the store, went to his vehicle and then reentered the store to return the items individually for a total of $42.65.
Loss prevention further found that on Sept. 4, 2016 Landrum took multiple Otterbox cell phone cases, put them in his pockets and left the store. Landrum came back and attempted to return two cases. When he was unable to, he went to his vehicle. Kyle Hamman then entered Walmart and returned the cases for $181.64. Stephan Walsh was seen exiting Landrum’s vehicle and also returned two Otterbox cases for $140.98.
On the same day, Landrum also stole two USB cables. Bradey Prater could be seen on surveillance exiting Landrum’s vehicle and entering the store. He returned the USB cables for $33.98. The following day, Sept. 5, Prater also returned two Otterbox cases stolen by Landrum for $103.28.
Landrum stole two more Otterbox cases on Sept. 5. These were returned by John Walsh for $64.03.
On Sept. 10, 2016 Landrum stole lighted arrow nocks. Billy Slone returned the items for $223.73.
All of the individuals returning items provided identification when processing the return.
Loss prevention provided the investigating officer with the surveillance footage. The officer then compared the subjects to driver’s license photographs obtained from the BMV and was able to identify the subjects. According to the affidavit, the officer spoke with Landrum who admitted to stealing the items and either returning them himself or having someone else do it for him.
Prater, John Walsh and Slone stated that they gave the money from their returned items back to Landrum. Prater and Stone advised Landrum would give them cigarettes and soda in return.
All those named in the affidavit of probable cause have been sentenced as follows: