Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 24, 2013

Multistate theft spree shut down


CNHI

— MANKATO, Minn. — An elaborate multistate shoplifting spree that may have reached $100,000 in stolen merchandize has been been broken up in Minnesota.

Two shoplifters charged with stealing thousands of DVDs from Walmarts across the Midwest, recently reached plea deals in Blue Earth County, Minn., before being sent to South Dakota to face felony charges there.

Walmart employees in Minnesota and surrounding states had been warned about a scheme by two women to steal DVDs. In this case, Noe Baldiva-Corral, 39, and Samantha Velez-Diaz, 27, created a distraction in the Mankato Walmart and then filled a suitcase with 200 DVDs, before fleeing.

A surveillance video was used to identify the women and the car they were driving following a break from the store. They were arrested about two hours later.

After pleading guilty to the Mankato thefts, the women waived fighting extradition to South Dakota where they are facing grand theft charges for allegedly stealing DVDs from a Walmart in Vermillion.

One-year prison sentences were stayed for the Apple Valley, Calif., women. They were both sentenced to serve the 150 days they had spent in jail since their arrests in September and ordered to pay about $6,920 in restitution.

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Details for this story were provided by The Free Press in Mankato, Minn.