Sheriff Craig Webre announced recent shoplifting investigations have uncovered a ring of thefts at several Walmart stores in South Louisiana. Deputies recovered more than $6,000 in stolen merchandise and have arrested Edward Lawson (age 32) of Thibodaux in relation to the case. A warrant has also been issued for Willie Holmes Jr. (age 44), and detectives say more arrests could be possible with the ongoing investigation.
The investigation began in mid-November as deputies were investigating two incidents at the Walmart Supercenter, located at 4858 Highway 1 in Raceland. On Saturday, November 14, three male subjects left the store with over $800 of merchandise without paying for it. Two of those subjects were later identified as Lawson and Holmes. Then on Wednesday, November 18, another incident occurred in which a male subject attempted to steal over $300 of merchandise. Through investigation into both incidents, deputies learned a group of individuals, including Lawson and Holmes had committed several thefts at Walmart stores across South Louisiana, and the items were being kept in a storage unit in Bayou Blue. After obtaining a search warrant for the storage unit, deputies discovered more than 60 items identified as having been stolen from all three Walmart stores in Lafourche Parish, as well as other Walmart stores in and around the Baton Rouge area. The total value of the recovered stolen items is over $6,159.56.
During the course of the investigation, deputies located Edward Lawson on the night of Wednesday, November 18, and he was taken into custody due to outstanding warrants for Misdemeanor Theft and Criminal Trespassing. Those warrants stemmed from an incident on May 3, 2015, wherein he allegedly stole an ice chest and fishing equipment from a residence in Gray. Lawson was booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center on the aforementioned warrants, and he was additionally charged with Felony Theft by Shoplifting in the November 14 incident. He was released November 20 after posting $2,000 bond.
Holmes is wanted for Felony Theft by Shoplifting, and he also has an active warrant for East Baton Rouge Parish. Anyone with information on his whereabouts, or anyone with any other information related to this ring of thefts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Bayou Region at 1-800-743-7433, or text “GIVEATIP” plus your message to 274637. Tips can also be submitted using the TipSubmit Mobile application or online at http://www.crimestoppersbr.org. Tipsters will remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 in cash if the information given leads to an arrest.
Detectives say they are continuing their investigation into this case, and additional arrests and charges are likely.