Thursday, May 5, 2022

Forgery gear found inside rental vehicle:

Man and woman tied to statewide Walmart thefts arrested in Warsaw


Two Rochester residents tied to a statewide series of thefts have been charged after a month-long investigation at the Warsaw Walmart. The investigation began March 28 after an Asset Protection employee contacted the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office.

The employee reported multiple incidents in which a male and female entered the store with fraudulent receipts, which they allegedly used to steal merchandise and return stolen items. The stolen items added up to $3,680.76 in value, deputies said.

Deputies identified the suspects as Rodqrick A. McGowan and LaShaunda M. Baker, both 38, of Rochester. Deputies responded to the store again on Sunday after a report that McGowan was inside, trying to return a stolen item with a fraudulent receipt. They took him into custody in the parking lot.

McGowan was found to be driving a rental vehicle which had been rented by a third party. A search revealed a stolen trap shooter and 164 fraudulent Walmart receipts were inside, deputies said. 

The vehicle also allegedly contained forgery equipment including a blank roll of Wal-Mart receipt paper, a paper cutter, and a copier/printer which was operational and powered up in the rear seat

McGowan was found to possess a non-driver identification card and had been smoking cannabis while driving, deputies said. He then allegedly failed field sobriety tests. 

He was charged with third-degree grand larceny; second-degree forgery; five counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument; criminal possession of forgery devices; fifth-degree conspiracy; driving while ability impaired by drugs; consumption of cannabis in a motor vehicle; and unlicensed operation.

McGowan was committed to Wyoming County Jail without bail due to previous felony convictions in several states, deputies said. He is to appear June 13 in Town Court.

In the meantime, Baker showed up at the Sheriff’s Office after McGowan’s arrest to ask about him, while he was in custody. She was taken into custody herself and charged with felony fourth-degree grand larceny. Baker is to appear May 16 in Town Court.

The investigation is continuing in conjunction with Walmart Asset Protection and other police agencies, deputies said. More charges are pending.

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