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Shoplifters get a case of heartburn

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Darryl Enriquez
March 9, 2011
— An Illinois man accused of targeting heartburn medication while shoplifting at Wal-Mart stores in Delavan and Rockford, Ill., with a female accomplice is scheduled to make an initial court appearance here Thursday on a charge of felony retail theft.

Brian Davis, 20, of Marengo, Ill., is free on $1,000 bail. The woman accused of being his crime partner, Chantel Appell, 20, of Marengo, also is charged here with felony retail theft. A warrant has been issued for her arrest. The couple was boyfriend and girlfriend, according to court records.


A criminal complaint states:


A Delavan Wal-Mart official reported Aug. 3 that Davis and Appell stole 178 over-the-counter drug items from its pharmacy, including 100 boxes of Prilosec heartburn medication.


The couple went to the store's card section, took three large gifts bags and put them into a shopping cart.


Davis placed various drugs into the gift bags while Appell acted as lookout. The pharmacy was closed.


The woman then drove a car to the pharmacy entrance. Davis bolted to the car with the three bags. In all, 178 items were taken, valued at $4,210.


Delavan police posted an informational e-mail that included surveillance video of the Wal-Mart heist. Police learned the couple was under investigation by Rockford police for a similar theft.


According to Rockford police reports, the couple tried a similar caper at a Wal-Mart on July 30.


The couple had 90 over-the-counter medications in gift bags, including 86 boxes of heartburn medication, but they abandoned the items and fled.


Surveillance cameras at the Rockford store captured the getaway car's license plate. It was traced to the woman's father who identified the couple and told investigators where to find them.


The couple was questioned at Davis' mother's house in Marengo, but they were not brought back to Wisconsin. It could not be immediately learned if the couple was first prosecuted in Illinois and later faced charges here.



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