April 26, 2013

Wal-Mart larceny suspects arrested


---- — PLATTSBURGH — Police say two Plattsburgh residents stole at least $20,000 in merchandise from Wal-Mart.

John L. Letts, arrested late Wednesday night, told police he had been stealing from the store since December 2012, said New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Lt. Brent Davison.

Loss Prevention employees at Wal-Mart originally believed about $8,000 in merchandise had been taken, but when Letts let police search his Sailly Avenue apartment, they found at least $20,000 in stolen goods, he said.

“His plans were to sell it,” he said.

The merchandise includes large flat-screen televisions, laptops, more than 15 cameras and camcorders, tripods, DVDs and kitchen appliances.


Letts, 26, turned himself in to police after a person saw the surveillance photo of him on WPTZ Channel 5’s website, Davison said.

Earlier that day, State Police had asked the public for help in locating the two suspects, releasing two surveillance photos on their public website.

“I think this is a good example where we reached out to the media for assistance and asking the public for help and it paid off,” Davison said.

Some of the smaller items were taken out of the store covered with stolen towels, he said, but the larger items were not covered when they were transported out of one of the front entrances of Wal-Mart.


The most recent theft happened between midnight and 12:50 a.m. on Saturday, he said.

Letts was arraigned in Plattsburgh Town Court late Wednesday.

He was taken to Clinton County Jail in lieu of $2,000 cash or $4,000 bond and was scheduled to reappear at 4 p.m. today.

His alleged accomplice, Alison L. Sault-McDonagh, 25, of Plattsburgh, surrendered to police Thursday afternoon.

Her arraignment took place at 3 p.m. in Plattsburgh Town Court.

The Clinton County District Attorney’s Office recommended bail of $4,000 or $8,000 since Sault-McDonagh is on probation.

Both Letts and Sault-McDonagh were charged with three felonies: third-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal mischief and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

The property will be returned to Wal-Mart once the case has been closed, Davison said.


Sault-McDonagh has been arrested on charges related to possible larceny at least twice before.

In September 2012, Lake Placid Police allegedly found her in possession of items that were reported stolen from Main Street stores. She was charged with three counts fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a felony, and with two counts fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor.

And back in June 2007, she and a Rouses Point woman allegedly used a stolen credit card to purchase about $600 in merchandise from the Plattsburgh Wal-Mart. Sault-McDonagh was charged with three counts of second-degree forgery, a felony, because she allegedly signed three credit-card receipts for the goods.

In that case, police said she was observed by police on Wal-Mart’s security cameras, according to Press-Republican reports from the time.

Letts and Sault-McDonagh remained in jail on Thursday afternoon.

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