Gavel

Three people have been charged in connection with two large retail theft cases at Eau Claire stores.

In one case, Jennifer L. Fullmer, 40, and Andrea M. Ward, 33, both of 1611 Whipple St., are each charged in Eau Claire County Court with a felony count of retail theft.

They are scheduled to make their initial court appearances on July 15.

In the second case, Erik Vargas, 27, of St. Paul is charged with felony counts of retail theft and retail theft by removing an anti-theft device.

Vargas is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on July 28.

According to the criminal complaint in the first case:

Police were sent to Walmart, 3915 Gateway Drive, on April 12 because two women were running to a vehicle after concealing items without paying for them.

A police officer observed the suspect vehicle and conducted a traffic stop.

The occupants of the vehicle were identified as Fullmer and Ward.

Walmart loss prevention employees said Fullmer and Ward stole items by standing next to each other. Ward would then conceal the items in two black bags.

Police found the two black bags in the back seat of the vehicle.

Walmart officials determined that 138 items totaling $710 were taken from the store.

Security footage showed both Ward and Fullmer placing items into the black bags.

Both women walked out of the store after being confronted by store officials about the contents of the black bags.

According to the criminal complaint in the second case:

Vargas entered Fleet Farm, 3165 Old Town Hall Road, on Feb. 16 with a female.

Store video showed Vargas selecting a $230 framing hammer and tampering with the security device.

The female appeared to be standing with her back to the camera to block the view of Vargas.

An alarm went off and both Vargas and the female left the store without taking anything.

Vargas and the female were back at Fleet Farm on Feb. 28.

The female stood with her back to the store camera while Vargas selected four Stiletto hammers, valued at $900, and placed them in a cart.

Vargas was then seen on camera tampering with the security devices as they walked around the store.

Vargas then removed the security devices, set them on a shelf and concealed the hammers in a child carrier.

Vargas and the female then left the store in a Dodge Charger without paying for the items.

Store officials found an ad for two of the hammers on Facebook Marketplace, which was placed by Vargas and the female.

Police spoke to Vargas April 8, and he said the female had nothing to do with the theft. 

Contact: 715-833-9207, dan.holtz@ecpc.com