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Two get probation for stealing thousands from Sam’s Club

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — A couple were placed on probation after a scheme to steal thousands from Sam’s Club in Idaho Falls.

Enrique Molina Lopez and Melissa Ricks pleaded guilty to felony grand theft. On Monday, a judge placed Lopez on three years of probation. Ricks had already been placed on four years of probation last year. Both were given withheld judgments, meaning if they are successful on probation, then the conviction could be removed from their criminal record.

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Idaho Falls Police wrote in a probable cause affidavit that on Dec. 24, 2019, staff at Sam’s Club saw Lopez taking items from the shelves to the returns cashier and exchanging them for store credit cards. Officers cited Lopez that day with misdemeanor petty theft. Prosecutors later amended Lopez’s charge to the felonies.

Further investigation led Sam’s Club loss prevention to call the police again on Dec. 23, after Ricks, who was an employee at Sam’s Club, admitted to stealing thousands from the store. Ricks told police she would load money onto gift cards and return them to the store for cash, according to court documents.

RELATED | Police say employee admitted to stealing thousands from Sam’s Club

In a written statement, Ricks said, “We have estimated over two years it is $20,000 worth.” However, loss prevention staff calculated the amount stolen closer to $13,000.

Both were ordered to pay $1,000 fines.