Retail theft, even for some repeat offenders, often draws only a municipal citation or at most a low-level criminal misdemeanor charge.
But two men arrested over the weekend for thefts at Mayfair Mall are getting the proverbial book thrown at them – in part for what they are accused of stealing but mainly because of their criminal records and current status with the courts.
Wanted man leads police on chase through dark
Justin L. Nash, 19 was charged Tuesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with one count of felony retail theft and one count of felony bail jumping. If convicted, he faces up to 4½ years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint: At 10:43 p.m. Sunday, with the mall closed except for the AMC Theater, a security officer at Mayfair monitoring live surveillance video saw Nash walk up to the Silver Expressions kiosk, lift up a blue canvass covering and grab a bunch of watches.
Nash then ran from the mall on foot, and Wauwatosa police were called.
Nash fled into the grounds of the Blue Mounds Country Club, and police surrounded the place, then began to move in. Nash was soon spotted scaling a chain-link fence, and after a short chase through the dark was found hiding in the back yard of a home in the 3100 block of Menomonee River Parkway.
Nash had tossed his coat along the way but led officers back to it. In the pockets, police found 13 watches worth just over $800 retail.
A record check showed Nash was wanted on an open warrant for burglary and has another open case for burglary. He is being held on a $750 signature bond and has been ordered into the JUSTICE 2000 program for supervision while awaiting trial.
Habitual thief again accused in jewelry heist
Another Milwaukee man is accused of trying to steal nearly $500 worth of jewelry from Macy's on Saturday.
Foy Lee Brasher Jr., 55, was charged Tuesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with one count of retail theft and one count of bail jumping. If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison and $20,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint: At 4:25 p.m., a Macy's security officer was watching surveillance cameras when he spotted Brasher opening jewelry boxes and pocketing the contents. He then tried to leave the store without paying.
Brasher was stopped by security officers, but he struggled with them before trying to give back some of the jewelry. When he again tried to leave, it took three security officers to keep him at the scene until Wauwatosa police officers arrived.
Officers were able to get all the stolen merchandise back, and they discovered Brasher had just been released from custody on Oct. 7 for another charge of retail theft. Ultimately, it was found that Brasher has six prior retail theft convictions plus two more open cases on the same count.
Brasher is now being held in Milwaukee County Jail on $500 bond while awaiting trial, and his charges carry habitual criminality enhancers.