WARSAW — A police officer posting pictures on social media for assistance in identifying theft suspects led to the perpetrators themselves contacting him and denying their involvement.
Stephen Andrew Seager, 36, 111 Alt Drive, Elkhart, is charged with theft, a class A misdemeanor; and theft with a prior conviction, a level 6 felony.
Atousha Faye Brown, 36, 305 Arbor St. 2, Goshen, is charged with theft, a class A misdemeanor.
On May 5, a Warsaw Police officer was contacted by a Walmart asset protection employee regarding a theft that occurred on April 25. A self-checkout employee said a man and woman walked out of the self-checkout area and left the store without paying for some items.
Security footage showed that on April 25, a man and woman entered the store with a child. They are shown walking through the store and selecting multiple items of merchandise. At one point, it appeared they concealed some merchandise by placing blankets in the cart. The man and woman were later identified as Seager and Brown.
According to court documents, while going to the self-checkout register, Brown scanned some items but did not scan others. She paid for the scanned items with a debit card and passed all points of sale without attempting to purchase the items she did not scan.
Seager is shown on surveillance footage attempting to buy electronic items. He attempts to use the card Brown used, but the card was declined. He then collected the items he had and left the store without attempting to purchase the items. The total value of the items stolen from Walmart is less than $750.
On May 6, the Warsaw officer posted pictures of Seager and Brown on the department’s Facebook page for assistance in identifying them. He later received phone calls from both suspects, asking him to call them back. Both Seager and Brown denied purposefully taking items from Walmart. After speaking to them, the officer was able to verify the people in the surveillance video were Brown and Seager.
Seager was previously convicted of theft in St. Joseph County in February.
Seager was booked in the Kosciusko County Jail on July 22, with a $5,750 surety and cash bond. Brown has already been arrested and released on bond. She has an initial hearing at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2.