ST. GEORGE — Two men allegedly went on a retail shoplifting spree, stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from three Walmart stores, after reportedly losing their money in Las Vegas.
Christian Ryan Johnson, 28, and Michael Graham Johnson, 30, both of Hemet, California, allegedly hit Walmart stores in Mesquite, Nevada, Bloomington and Washington City where they were subsequently caught and detained Wednesday, according to a probable cause statement filed by Washington City Police in support of the arrests.
The men were both charged in 5th District Court with two third-degree felony counts of retail theft, three class A misdemeanor counts for possession of drugs and theft detection shielding devices, along with a class B misdemeanor count of drug paraphernalia possession. Christian Johnson faces an additional third-degree felony charge of possession of another’s identification.
The alleged shoplifting spree came to an end Wednesday after Washington City Walmart security observed the men in the store removing security wrap from merchandise and called police, according to the statement.
Police located the men attempting to exit the store through an emergency exit in the Garden Center with more than $500 in stolen merchandise and a magnetic device used to deactivate security devices, police said.
Christian Johnson admitted that he had intended to steal four Apple TVs from the store, the report states.
Police learned that the two men had hit Bloomington Walmart at 6 a.m. that same day and had left the store with $2,351 in stolen merchandise, according to a probable cause statement filed by St. George Police in support of the arrests.
Michael Johnson admitted to stealing various items with his friend Christian Johnson, the arresting officer wrote in the statement, adding:
Michael said he was low on money after losing in Las Vegas.
Upon searching their vehicle, police located numerous stolen items from Walmart in Mesquite and Bloomington, a glass pipe, a digital scale, spoons and syringes with brown residue, a black tar substance consistent with heroin and a white crystalline rock consistent with methamphetamine, along with a driver’s license and two Social Security cards not belonging to either of the two men, the report states.
The two men were arrested and transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
Both men made their initial appearance in court Thursday before 5th District Judge Eric A. Ludlow. They are both scheduled to make their next court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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