Seymour police officers have arrested three people from Ohio in connection with the thefts of more than 60 televisions from Wal-Mart Distribution Center.
Somer Doyle, 20, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and brothers, Antwan Wallace, 23, and Anthony Wallace, 28, both of Columbus, Ohio, each face a felony charge of burglary and a felony charge of theft in connection with the investigation that began about 2:30 a.m. Friday.
At that time, dispatchers sent police to the warehouse at 2100 E. Tipton St. on the city’s far east side after employees noticed suspicious activity in the shipping yard where semitrailers are staged and loaded with merchandise.
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Responding officers located an abandoned box truck with Ohio plates in the area but after searching for three hours found nothing else, Detective Sgt. C.J. Foster said.
“We cleared the scene at that point, but Walmart called us back with more potential evidence, so we went back out again,” Foster said.
Officers again checked out the area, which led to Officer Jason Wynn spotting a small SUV pulling out of the parking lot of Faith Baptist Church, just south of the distribution center and near the store supercenter.
Wynn stopped the vehicle on Meadowbrook Drive between Aldi Food Market and Steak ‘n Shake to investigate its possible connection to the box truck and the thefts at the distribution center.
The SUV, which also had Ohio plates, was being driven by Doyle. The Wallace brothers also were in the vehicle. Doyle later was identified as the girlfriend of one of the brothers.
All three were detained and questioned.
Foster said the Wallaces admitted to the thefts, and Doyle requested an attorney. The brothers were charged with burglary, attempted theft and criminal mischief.
It was the third time the distribution center had been hit by thieves in the past two months, Foster said. All of the incidents took place at night.
The first incident was reported June 6, when someone got away with 38 televisions. The second theft was reported June 17 when another 28 television were reported stolen. None of those televisions have been recovered.
“They would come in and park on the south side of the distribution center and gain entry by cutting the fence around the property,” Foster said. “Once inside the property, they were cutting off the seals to gain access to trailers in the yard.”
Each time, the suspects were taking bigger televisions, Foster said.
“They started out with 39-inch TVs, then went up to 55 inches, and this last time, they were attempting to take 60-inch TVs,” he said.
Police believe all three incidents involve the same people, but there potentially could be others.
“We just don’t know at this point,” Foster said.
The thefts remain under investigation, and Foster said there could be some connection to similar incidents that have occurred at distribution centers in Michigan, Ohio and Texas.
The three were booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown on Friday morning and were being held without bond pending initial hearings in Jackson Circuit Court.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Seymour Police Department at 812-522-1234.