Couple arrested for five-month stealing binge at Wal-Mart

Published 5:32 pm Friday, April 15, 2016

Bainbridge Public Safety arrested Candace Morrell and Richard Alvarado early Thursday morning for more than 40 thefts from Wal-Mart spanning over the past five months

BPS investigators Mark Esquivel and Larry Funderburke started surveillance and arrested Morrell, 33, and Alvarado, 33, outside Wal-Mart at 12:50 a.m.

Esquivel said the two have combined to steal around $10,000 in cell phones, GPS units, dash cams and other electronics since Dec. 10 from the Bainbridge and Cairo Wal-Marts. Morrell was an employee at the Wal-Mart in Cairo.

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Both were charged with one count of Felony Theft and one count of Misdemeanor Theft.

“The past few months, Wal-Mart has been finding a bunch of empty boxes for phones, dash cams and drones,” Esquivel said. “They found them in Cairo, too. We are talking thousands of dollars.”

Esquivel said the two were selling the stolen items for a profit.

Authorities were tipped when managers at Wal-Mart matched the timing of the thefts when Morrell used an employee discount card for transactions.

“They started looking back and found a couple days when they would steal phones and GPSs,” Esquivel said. “We waited outside (Thursday morning), and when they left the store, we stopped them and searched them and found more cell phones.”

A third theft was also stopped before Morrell and Alvarado were arrested.

While surveillance was being monitored, Daniel Fort, 28, was caught and arrested for stealing a phone, a knife and a flashlight. He was charged with Misdemeanor Theft.

Ironically, Fort had ridden to the Bainbridge Wal-Mart with Morrell and Alvarado from Cairo that night.