Traverse City Record-Eagle

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March 9, 2013

Friends charged after Walmart worker helped them steal

TRAVERSE CITY — Two additional people face criminal charges after deputies said a Walmart employee helped her friends steal more than $3,000 in merchandise.

Authorities issued warrants for the arrest of Bethany Klomparens, of Holland, and Rey Verstrat, of Beulah, both 18. They are charged with first-degree retail fraud, embezzlement between $1,000 and $20,000, and a count of conspiracy for the January heist.

Walmart surveillance footage captured the two and Alexandra Rice filling two shopping carts with items at the Garfield Township store before Rice started her shift as a cashier.

Klomparens and Verstrat went through Rice’s line and only paid for about $5 worth of items, court documents show. They left the store and returned a short time later wearing different clothing, some of which appeared to have been stolen from the store. They stole more items in the same manner, authorities said.

Rice, 19, of Benzonia, was arrested in January and charged with a felony count of embezzlement between $1,000 and $20,000, and a count of conspiracy. Verstrat and Klomparens have not been arrested, according to court records.



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