A Mapleton man is in custody facing felony charges after attempting to steal a $199 Bluetooth speaker.
Officers with the Lindon Police Department were dispatched to a local Home Depot on Wednesday after loss prevention employees reported a possible theft in progress. According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, employees advised police that two men appeared to be getting ready to leave the store, taking items with them that they had not paid for.
Authorities arrived on scene and were told that the men were at the return desk, and one of them had a Bluetooth speaker in his cart and was concealing it from employees’ view. A short time later, loss prevention employees advised officers the men had left the store without paying for the speaker.
Officials made contact with the two men in the parking lot, identifying one of the men as 37-year-old Shane Warren Richards of Mapleton. Officers explained why they had made contact with the two men, and Richards advised police he was on probation.
Police contacted Richards’ probation officer, who arrived on scene to speak with him while officers made contact with loss prevention employees. Loss prevention employees told police the man who was shopping with Richards successfully processed a return and tried to buy some items.
While the transaction was processing, employees handed the man a bag, which he handed to Richards. At that time, Richards allegedly placed the Bluetooth speaker inside of the bag without paying for it, according to arrest documents.
The cashier then advised the man that the card was declined and the purchase could not go through. The man turned to Richards and asked for the bag back. Richards allegedly pulled the speaker out of the bag and placed it back into the cart.
While the bag containing the other items was returned to the cashier, Richards and the man left the store with the speaker in his cart immediately after. According to the probable cause affidavit, at no point, the employees told police, did Richards or the other man attempt to scan the speaker nor did they attempt to pay for it.
Officers questioned Richards and the man about the accusations. Both men reportedly told police that was not what happened, and Richards reportedly said he thought the man was paying for it. The man denied having any knowledge of the speaker, adding that he did not even see it in the cart.
Police were able to observe video surveillance footage of the incident, which allegedly shows Richards concealing the speaker from the view of the cashier and also moving the speaker from the cart into the bag once the man handed it to him.
Richards was arrested, and during a search of his person, police discovered a small container in his underwear. Inside of the container appeared to be a green, leafy substance consistent with Spice, which Richards reportedly said was what was inside, according to arrest documents.
Authorities found that Richards had driven himself and the other man to the Home Depot in a van that was registered to him. Police conducted a search of the vehicle and discovered burnt tinfoil and a straw, which officials asserted are consistent with objects used to ingest drugs.
Richards reportedly told officers those items were old, reportedly adding that he had not used in a long time but he was coming down from Methadone and Suboxone.
Officers transported Richards to the Utah County Jail to be booked into custody under suspicion of third-degree felony retail theft, class B misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, and class B misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
While at the jail, officers discovered Richards may have an item concealed in his pants area after sending him through the body scanner. According to the probable cause statement, authorities conducted a strip search and discovered a small bag with a dark substance stuck to Richards’ waist area.
Richards then allegedly grabbed the bag and put it in his mouth. The jail guard attempted to stop him but couldn’t. Richards told authorities he did not have anything despite the guard telling him he had witnessed it and ordering him to spit it out. Richards again denied having anything.
An officer told him he was going to charge him with possession of a controlled substance within a correctional facility, adding that he should spit it out. Richards reportedly spit out the bag, which appeared to contain heroin. When police asked if the item would test positive for heroin, Richards allegedly said it would.
Richards had to be transported to Timpanogos Hospital for a medical clearance and, while there, allegedly told officials the heroin was to help him get away from methadone. He reportedly began to apologize profusely to officers.
According to the probable cause statement, officers asked Richards if he intended to steal the speaker, and Richards allegedly said he did not, at first, but felt like he needed to.
After receiving medical clearance, Richards was transported back to the Utah County Jail under suspicion of additional potential charges, including class A misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance within a correctional facility, class A misdemeanor tampering with evidence, and class A misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.
He is currently in custody on $5,000 bail.