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Serial Shoplifter Arrested after Stealing $20K in Merchandise

A woman has been arrested after allegedly shoplifting more than $20,000 in merchandise from Utah Costco stores. A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County said Andria Lecor Welte, 40, is facing charges of:

  • A pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony
  • Money laundering, a second-degree felony
  • Retail theft, a second-degree felony
  • Two counts of retail theft, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, schedule I/II/analog, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

On January 10, police were called to the Costco at 3747 S. 2700 West in West Valley City to take a shoplifting report where a female suspect was observed entering into the store, selecting over $5,000 worth of merchandise and leaving the store, the statement said. The act was also recorded via CCTV.

Police on scene were also alerted that the same woman had visited the same Costco on January 4 and she had stolen over $4,000 worth of merchandise. The initial officer sent out a photograph of the suspect department-wide to attempt to identify the woman.

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On Wednesday, detectives went to the West Valley City Costco to follow up on the case. Loss prevention was able to identify with their peers that the same suspect had shoplifted from the Salt Lake City Costco in December, the Murray Costco in the last week, and the Sandy Costco Wednesday. Detectives attempted to identify the suspect, but were unable to.

At 8:30 PM Wednesday, West Valley City Costco loss prevention observed the same suspect enter into the store and select around $4,300 worth of merchandise before loss prevention confronted her, the statement said. The suspect left the store, but was located and placed under arrest by police on scene. When searched incident to arrest, methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia were located on the suspect… Gephardt Daily

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