Two “quick change artists” were arrested at Walmart last week after trying to trick a cashier, according to Durant Police.
Kenneth Earl Turner, 49, Whitewright, Texas, and Lora Lafayette Walker, 47, Mesquite, Texas, were arrested for suspicion of obtaining property by trick or deception.
They were captured after Durant Master Police Officer Rick Ford was dispatched to Walmart after police were notified that two people who had been identified on three different times as “quick change artists” were back in the store and had attempted a fourth scam.
The suspects left Walmart, but based upon a description of the vehicle given to police, Ford and Patrolman Carter Mathews pulled it over on Highway 70 west of Walmart.
A Walmart employee told police that the suspects had stolen $1,900 from Walmart during three visits to the store, and the supsects are shown on surveillance footage.
Turner and Walker agreed to go back to Walmart with police. They were escorted to an office where the video surveillance was played. According to police, a video from Aug. 1 showed a man who appeared to be Turner making a purchase and then confusing the cashier by repeatedly asking for change.
Another video from Aug. 6 was shown and it revealed a similar transaction. A person who appeared to be Walker is also shown in these videos. A third video from Aug. 29 showed similar incidents, according to police, and at that point, the suspects were read their rights.
Turner agreed to talk, the report stated, and he said, “If it’s a mistake being made, then I’m willing to do whatever to straighten it out.”
Officer Ford then told him it appeared he was trying to confuse the cashier to defraud the business of cash, Turner denied this, saying that it was not intentional.
Walker was also questioned and informed that since the video showed her close to Turner, she likely had knowledge of the scam. Both suspects were then given the opportunity to make voluntary statetments about the incidents and both declined, according to police.
Turner and Walker were booked into jail. The district attorney’s office will be reviewing the report to determine charges.
Durant Police Lt. Chris Marcy advised businesses to watch out for these types of scams.
“With the upcoming holiday season, I would caution area businesses to be aware of these types of incidents,” Marcy said. “We commonly tell our local retailers to not provide change to customers at the point of sale, but at a customer service desk. Quick change artists travel from town to town performing these scams and are only in town very briefly and then they move to another town, which makes it extremely difficult for law enforcement to identify them.”