Upshur man arrested on felony shoplifting charge after allegedly taking items from Walmart

BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man was arrested Saturday in connection to an incident that occurred in July 2020 during which he allegedly intentionally failed to scan items at a self-checkout register at Walmart and then took them from the store.  

Michael Courtney, 37, of Buckhannon, was arrested Saturday, Oct. 16 for third-offense shoplifting, a felony, in connection to an incident that reportedly occurred last July.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Patrolman Angel McCauley with the Buckhannon Police Department, on July 26, 2020, McCauley was reviewing an incident of alleged shoplifting at Walmart that reportedly occurred earlier that month on July 2, 2020.

When McCauley reviewed the video security footage, Courtney was seen on the video entering Walmart at 2:09 p.m. Then, at 2:50 p.m., Courtney is seen at a self-checkout register allegedly scanning one item and then bagging two items, the complaint says. The report alleges that once Courtney saw the cashier was looking away from him, he continued to bag items without first scanning them; he also allegedly failed to scan cases of Coca-Cola and Gatorade, which were placed in the bottom of the cart.

Courtney then exited through the grocery vestibule. The value of the items taken amounted to $28.15, the file states.

McCauley noted Courtney had two prior shoplifting convictions in Upshur County on May 14, 2015, with a no-contest plea, and Jan. 10, 2017, with a guilty conviction, according to the complaint.

Bail was set at $10,000 surety, and as of Tuesday evening, Courtney was no longer listed on the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority website.

Shoplifting is a graduated offense, so third-offense qualifies as a felony.

The penalty for a conviction of shoplifting third or subsequent offense is confinement in the state penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than 10 years and a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000. The person is required to spend at least one year in confinement that is not subject to probation.

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