Two Brimfield 'shoppers' plead guilty to felony thefts at Walmart from July 2012

By Dave O'Brien | Staff Writer Published:

Two people Brimfield police said were involved in an illegal theft spree at the Brimfield Walmart on Tallmadge Road in July 2012 that led officers to recover more than $1,000 in allegedly stolen merchandise have pleaded guilty to felony theft charges.

A third co-defendant faces trial in September, while a fourth is wanted on a warrant after failing to appear in court for a pretrial hearing in February.

Alleged ringleader Courtney A. Taylor, 23, of Canton, pleaded guilty to theft, a fifth-degree felony, in Portage County Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman's courtroom on May 17. Sentencing is pending a pre-sentence investigation.

The man Brimfield police say was the getaway driver, Darshawn L. Clark, 28, of 841 Silver Meadows Blvd., Kent, pleaded guilty to complicity to theft, a fifth-degree felony, in Pittman's courtroom on May 16. He remains free on bond pending sentencing.

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Co-defendant Alex M. Popson, 22, with a last known address of 4441 Sherman Road, Brimfield, faces trial in Judge John Enlow's courtroom on Sept. 24, according to court records. He was indicted Sept. 21, 2012, on one count of complicity to theft, a fifth-degree felony. After failing to appear at his Oct. 9 arraignment, a warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was arrested and arraigned May 20 before being released on a personal recognizance bond pending trial.

Co-defendant Joel S. Miller, 23, of 423 Woodard Ave., Kent, remains wanted on a warrant after failing to show for a pretrial hearing in Pittman's courtroom on Feb. 14.

Over the span of five hours on July 1, 2012, Taylor, Miller and Popson allegedly walked the merchandise out of the store, using a box cutter and large empty tote bags to help bypass store security measures while Clark waited outside in a vehicle. Officers apprehended all four after being called to the store for a report of a suspicious vehicle.

Police said the trio stole at least 180 items worth more than $1,078, including clothing, toys, bathroom cleaner, toiletries, bedding, meat and cheese. Police Chief David Oliver said they were working off "shopping lists" full of items they planned to steal for other people.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

Facebook: Dave O'Brien, Record-Courier

Twitter: @RCCrimeWatch

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