By Jessica Farrish
A Lewisburg woman who was charged with third offense felony shoplifting and trespassing after she admitted Wednesday to stealing a television set and baby wipes from the Lewisburg Walmart told police that she’d first asked West Virginia business owner Jim Justice for financial help.
Police said Megan Ledawn Cox, also known as Megan Lemons, 31, has previous arrests for shoplifting and for obtaining goods under false pretenses.
According to Lewisburg Police Lt. Jeremy Dove, Cox entered Walmart Wednesday and tried to steal two television sets.
She lost confidence in stealing one of the televisions, but she removed the second television from its box, placed it in her shopping cart with additional items, including chlorine tablets for pools and baby wipes, and walked out of the store, Dove reported.
Shoppers reported to Walmart security that Cox’s cart items looked suspicious, he added.
Store loss prevention associate Leon Beiler scanned surveillance and identified Cox and her car on the video. He submitted the photos and a report of the stolen items to Lewisburg Police.
“He basically carried the investigation as far as he could, inside the store, then gave it to us,” said Dove.
Dove recognized Cox and her vehicle from previous arrests, and so he drove to her house Thursday morning to investigate, he said.
“I’ve dealt with her before,” he said. “We’re just a small community.”
Dove said Cox initially denied the charges but admitted to the shoplifting, valued at around $753, when she discovered the surveillance evidence.
“She started crying and confessed,” Dove said.
According to the police report, Cox told Dove that she’d stolen the items for the baby.
“She told me that she was trying to get some money,” said the officer. “She’s not working. She’s asked several churches for help. She called Jim Justice and asked him for help.”
The stolen TV was recovered from Cox’s living room, according to the police report.
Dove said shoplifters often steal returnable electronic items and exchange them for gift cards at customer service.