A couple face felony retail theft charges after stealing merchandise from a Home Depot and a Lowe’s in Lakeland, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) said Tuesday. Shenicka Whittington, 44, and her boyfriend, 55-year-old Joseph Lamar, were arrested July 24 by the Sheriff’s Office. Store security contacted detectives about retail thefts that occurred on three different occasions.
Security video footage from April 22 at a Lowe’s in Lakeland showed Whittington leaving the store with Yeti brand coolers and laundry detergent that she did not pay for, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The total of the merchandise was $552.89.
On May 21, Whittington was seen removing several Yeti brand items from the same Lowe’s store without paying for the merchandise, which totaled $209.97, the Sheriff’s Office said.
On July 24, PCSO detectives responded to Home Depot and saw Whittington leaving the store with her cart full of merchandise and Lamar standing next to a vehicle, waiting for her.
Detectives said the couple had entered Home Depot three times on that day, loading up fuel boxes, a gas pressure washer, chainsaws, a reciprocating saw, Bluetooth headphones, and other items totaling $3,028.83. The items were found in her cart and in the couple’s vehicle.
Lamar faces charges of coordinated retail theft, a third degree felony. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said his criminal history includes four prior theft convictions. Whittington faces charges of coordinated retail theft, as well as misdemeanors of providing a false name to law enforcement and violation of probation. Judd said she has 23 prior theft convictions. The PCSO said Whittington is also being detained on warrants for theft out of Orange and Hillsborough counties… The Ledger