Brimfield Walmart 'shoppers' indicted for felony theft

By Dave O'Brien | Staff writer Published:

Two Portage County residents whose "shopping" trip to the Brimfield Walmart ended with them in handcuffs and in custody in July are free on bond after being indicted by a Portage County grand jury on felony theft charges.

Courtney A. Taylor, 22, of 1035 Graham Ave., Kent, was indicted Sept. 22 on one count each of theft and possessing criminal tools, both fifth-degree felonies. Taylor allegedly stole between $1,000 and $7,500 worth of merchandise from the store on July 1, and possessed a box cutter and tote bags to help her bypass store security.

Co-defendants Joel S. Miller, 23, of 423 Woodard Ave., Kent, and Alex M. Popson, 21, of 4441 Sherman Road, Brimfield, were indicted Sept. 21 on one count each of complicity to theft, both fifth-degree felonies. Miller and Popson allegedly helped Taylor steal between $1,000 and $7,500 worth of merchandise from the store on the same date.

Also with them was alleged getaway driver Darshawn L. Clark, 28, of 1841 Silver Meadows Blvd., Kent.

Taylor pleaded not guilty and is free on bond pending trial.

Miller also is free on bond, with a trial scheduled in Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman's courtroom on Feb. 20.

Popson failed to appear at his arraignment in Judge John Enlow's courtroom on Oct. 9 and a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to court records.

Brimfield police said that over the span of five hours on July 1, Taylor, Miller and Popson stole at least 180 items worth more than $1,078, including clothing, toys, bathroom cleaner, toiletries, bedding, meat and cheese.

Brimfield Police Chief David Oliver said the group had "shopping lists" with items they planned to steal for other people.

Officers were called to the store for a report of a suspicious vehicle and apprehended all four.

Clark's initial charge was dismissed by the Portage County Prosecutor's Office for further review, pending presentation of the evidence to a grand jury. His criminal record includes a felony conviction for attempted robbery in 2004, according to court records.

Follow Dave O'Brien on Twitter at @RCCrimeWatch

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128

or dobrien@recordpub.com

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