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MOUNT PLEASANT — A Racine woman with a history of retail theft convictions has been charged for taking merchandise straight from Walmart’s shelves to its return counter, without paying for it.

Joann Andrews, 59, of the 900 block of Hayes Avenue, is charged with two counts of misdemeanor theft and two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping.

According to the criminal complaint:

On April 14, Andrews can be seen on store surveillance footage entering Walmart, 3049 Oakes Road, with nothing but her purse and cane.

She then placed an air bed in her shopping cart and walked past the cash registers to the customer service desk. Andrews returned the air bed that she just took from the store’s shelf without paying for it. Because Andrews did not have a receipt for the bed, the worker at the return desk took a scan of her ID before giving her a gift card for the price of the air mattress. Andrews proceeded to purchase $71.47 worth of merchandise with the card.

On May 6, Andrews was caught on video entering the same Walmart with an empty shopping cart. She then put an air fryer in her cart, and again headed past the cash registers to the customer service desk to return it. After receiving a gift card for the cost of the fryer, Andrews then bought $22.23 worth of merchandise with the card.

One of Walmart’s loss prevention officers reported the theft to Mount Pleasant Police on May 7.

Andrews was taken into custody on May 11 after she returned to the store and attempted to use the fraudulently obtained gift cards. At that time, police found that there were two active warrants out of Kenosha County for her arrest, one of them for retail theft.

Andrews has a history of retail theft convictions in Wisconsin dating back to 1991.

Andrews was convicted of retail theft on three separate occasions in Racine County in 1991. She was convicted of retail theft two more times in Racine County in 1997 and 1998.

A pretrial conference in the case is set for 3:15 p.m. on June 21 at the Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave.

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