Mill Creek man arrested after allegedly trying to steal over $1,000 worth of items from Buckhannon Walmart

BUCKHANNON – A Randolph County man was arrested recently after allegedly attempting to steal more than $1,300 worth of items from Walmart.

Maurice Gelpi III, 54, Mill Creek, was arrested Thursday, March 21, for attempted grand larceny, a felony; conspiracy, a felony; battery, a misdemeanor; and shoplifting first offense, a misdemeanor.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Patrolman Wade Loudin with the Buckhannon Police Department, on Feb. 29, 2024, Loudin was dispatched to Walmart in reference to fleeing shoplifters.

The E911 Upshur County Communication Center advised that a male and a female had taken items from Walmart without paying for them, passing a Walmart asset protection associate on the way out of the store. The pair then allegedly climbed into a blue Ford Explorer and headed toward U.S. Route 33.

The file says Sgt. William Courtney and Sgt. Darin Hissam located the vehicle on Route 33 traveling east, and Courtney subsequently initiated a traffic stop near Gormley Road. Courtney was able to identify the passenger as Gelpi as well as the female driver.

The female driver stated Gelpi was having an “episode” and forgot to pay for the items that were in the back seat of their vehicle, according to the complaint.

Loudin, the investigating officer, spoke with the Walmart asset protection associate, who said Gelpi allegedly exited the store via an electric scooter with items in the basket, despite being told to stop. The asset protection associate said when he advised Gelpi to stop, Gelpi allegedly continued out the door, hitting the associate approximately three times with the electric scooter.

Gelpi and the driver then allegedly loaded the items into the back seat of their vehicle and exited the parking lot. Police seized the items from the vehicle and returned them to Walmart. The total value of all the items taken from Walmart amounted to $1,314.17.

The Walmart associate also told city police that the two had allegedly previously shoplifted from Walmart on Jan. 24, 2024. He provided law enforcement officers with security footage from that day, which reportedly showed Gelpi and the woman allegedly leaving the store with items they did not pay for. The items that were taken on Jan. 24, 2024, were valued at $883.89.

Bail was set at $25,000 cash or surety by Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis.

The potential penalty for a conviction of attempted grand larceny is confinement in the state penitentiary for not less than one nor more than 10 years, or, at the discretion of the court, confinement in jail for not more than one year and a fine of up to $2,500.

The potential penalty for conspiracy is confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or both at the discretion of the court.

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