2 women charged with ringing up low-priced items, stealing expensive ones from Walmart

2 women charged with ringing up low-priced items, stealing expensive ones from Walmart

(As originally published with additional photos, Wed, February 21st 2024 at 8:52 PM)

SUMMERFIELD, Fla. (TND) — Walmart employees and sheriff’s deputies had a busy evening and when it was over, two women were taken from the self-checkout area to jail.

The two are still behind bars in Florida, almost a week later, facing unrelated criminal charges.

The scanning barcodes, or lack of scanning, happened at about 5:30 last Thursday.

A deputy wrote about loss prevention employees seeing “two shoppers at the location who they believed were about to commit a theft.”

Then, the deputy saw “live security footage of the defendant, later identified as Cortney Coker, at the check self-checkout, failing to pay for several items, all merchandise being sold by the merchant.

“One item of higher value, a hair curler, was observed on camera to have been scanned for $0.84.

“It appeared the defendant was purposely not scanning particular items at full price and appeared to be scanning two items at once for the price of one.

“The defendant continues to fail to pay for multiple items,” and then tried to leave.

Coker was stopped in the lobby, along with co-defendant Samantha Lester, who had a history at the store.

Lester’s arrest report said she was “removing merchandise from the shelves.

“However, due to the defendant having recently stolen merchandise from the location, it was believed she would commit another theft.”

The deputy wrote about seeing Lester on camera at self-checkout “scan approximately 10 items from her shopping cart that contained approximately 50 items.”

She then tried to leave “with a cart full of merchandise,” but was stopped.

2 women charged with ringing up low-priced items, stealing expensive ones from Walmart
Samantha Nicole Lester (top, 2020-2024 from left) and Cortney Elizabeth Coker (2019-2024) have each been arrested 4 times in Marion County, ending with shoplifting charges at Walmart on Feb. 15, 2024. (Marion Co. Sheriff’s Office)

“While being detained, the defendant made an unprovoked utterance,” the arrest report said. “She stated she knew better and knew what she had done was wrong.”

Walmart said Lester “only paid for $17.95 out of the $375.92 worth of merchandise which was found inside of her cart.”

“The defendant stated she only scanned a select few of [the] items and left the others in the cart,” Lester’s arrest report said. “She agreed she did this [in] lieu of paying full price.”

Then, “She informed [the deputy] if she were arrested, deputies would locate methamphetamine inside of her purse.”

She was arrested, and they did.

They reported finding “a black tin box which contained a glass jar with a crystal-like substance inside. The substance was field-tested and tested positive as methamphetamine.”

Coker also had a long list of items, from the receipt Walmart made of items in her cart.

“The defendant had $283.32 worth of merchandise and only $50.90 was paid for,” the deputy wrote.

“She acknowledged she was attempting to steal the merchandise,” authorities wrote about Coker. “The defendant explained she would scan cheaper items at the same time as the expensive items to obtain the expensive items at the price of the cheaper ones.

“The defendant informed us, as an example, she picked up a pie with a curling iron on top of it…”

Coker was arrested and in her purse: “multiple hypodermic needles and a spoon inside of a smaller makeup bag inside of her purse.

“One of the needles contained a small amount of a clear liquid substance which resulted in a presumptive positive for fentanyl.”

And the deputy wrote she “admitted to using illegal drugs and believed the substance located to be heroin.”

Coker had two prior theft convictions: one involving a Walmart in nearby Sumter County and one where she was, in Marion County.

In fact, she had “an active trespass warning” from the Walmart, in effect since Oct. 11, 2019.

Coker, 25, was charged with was charged with larceny-3rd offense, possession of fentanyl, and trespassing.

Lester, 40, was charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, larceny-1st offense, and a probation violation for grand theft of a vehicle, and her arrest came exactly two weeks after her previous release from jail.

This time, neither of the women has been released from jail.

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