Palestine, Texas (August 11, 2023) – Three Flint, Michigan residents were arrested on charges related to Organized Retail Crime.
On August 09, 2023, at approximately 4:44 pm, Officers with the Palestine Police Department responded to Walmart at 2223 S. Loop 256 in reference to a suspicious person. Walmart asset protection reported that a male suspected in recent thefts and attempted thefts at several Walmart locations in Tyler, Jacksonville, and other regional stores had entered the business.
This subject was suspected to be a member of a group involved in “cash cash” scams. These scams are accomplished through manipulation of the register systems using cash cards and social engineering. The result is a transaction where the register believes it is receiving cash while the offender falsely attempts to pay with a cash card. The result is that the offender leaves with unpaid merchandise. These items are then commonly returned under false pretenses.
Sergeant A. Rodriguez, Corporal Y. Durbin, Officer F. Crimbring, and Walmart asset protection watched a suspect complete a “cash cash” scam transaction and attempt to leave the business with approximately $1,500 in stolen merchandise. Officers then detained the suspect, during which the suspect provided a Michigan identification card. Officers later learned the name on the Michigan identification card was a false identity and later identified him as Keiyon Williams, 24. Williams was found to be wanted in New Hampshire and New Jersey on charges related to Organized Retail Crime. He was determined to be on federal supervised release out of the Eastern District of MI pending court on a similar charge.
Officers located and detained Williams’ accomplice seated in a car in the parking lot and identified him as Mantee Davis II. Davis was found to have just completed a fraudulent return of merchandise recently stolen from a Tyler Walmart with a value of approximately $500 before returning to the vehicle. They also found a bag of marijuana in the car's center console. In the trunk, they discovered items believed to be stolen from other Walmart stores.
Officers also learned that a third suspect, later identified as Dondrick Richardson, 25, abandoned his attempt at completing the “cash cash” scam in the store's jewelry section and fled through one of the business’ exits to avoid apprehension. Through coordinated efforts, Officers were able to track Richardson as he ducked around and behind vehicles while moving through the parking lot away from the store. Sergeant A. Rodriguez took him into custody before he could escape. Richardson was found to have several outstanding warrants out of Florida, Georgia, and Minnesota related to Organized Retail Crime and other forms of theft.
At the conclusion of the investigation, Officers took Williams, Davis, and Richardson into custody for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity and Possession of Marijuana. Richardson was additionally charged with Evading Arrest or Detention, and Williams was charged with Fail to Identify-Fugitive Intent Give False Info. All three subjects were transported to Anderson County Jail and booked in without incident.
Many additional cases are expected to be filed as numerous offenses have been linked to the suspects in several different jurisdictions, totaling thousands of dollars in loss.