One of three Twin Cities residents accused of operating an organized retail theft ring at Walmart stores in six states will spend three years on probation.
The trio took nearly $47,000 in merchandise from the Eau Claire Walmart store on two occasions in fall 2017, police said.
They are responsible for more than $360,000 in losses from several Walmart stores, police said.
Tashanda J. Boclair, 32, of Minneapolis, pleaded guilty recently in Eau Claire County Court to a felony count of retail theft.
Judge Sarah Harless fined Boclair $6,730 and ordered her to pay $39,843 in restitution along with her two co-defendants.
Boclair must also complete any programming, counseling or treatment recommended by her probation agent.
Co-defendants Lasonya D. Miles, 31, of Minneapolis, and Ezekiel O. Brown, 19, of Maplewood, were previously sentenced.
According to the criminal complaint:
Eau Claire police were contacted by officials at Walmart, 3915 Gateway Drive, shortly after 2 a.m. Oct. 6, 2017, regarding a large theft involving an organized group.
Walmart surveillance video showed a systematic approach that led to the theft of 56 new cellphones from a locked display case valued at more than $40,000.
The video shows three people entering the store and going directly to the electronics department. They watched for employees while forcing the display case open.
One person, later identified as Brown, pushed a shopping cart with a large plastic storage container up against the display case.
Brown and the other two people, later identified as Miles and Boclair, grabbed the phones and placed them in the plastic container.
The trio covered the container and pushed the merchandise out of the store without being stopped by employees.
Walmart employees said the same three people stole $6,700 worth of tablet computers on Sept. 27, 2017, using a similar process.
While investigating the two Eau Claire cases, police learned that Walmart corporate investigators had been tracking Boclair, Brown and Miles.
The trio have been identified in surveillance video, phone information, Facebook images and other sources as being responsible for more than $360,000 in losses from Walmart stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.
Through the installation of a trap and trace device and pen register, law enforcement officers obtained conversations between Miles, Brown, Boclair and a fourth person regarding coordinated efforts to plan these thefts across the region.
Pen registers are surveillance devices that capture the phone numbers dialed on outgoing telephone calls. Trap and trace devices capture the numbers identifying incoming calls.