A Newark NJ man allegedly shoplifted more than $800.00 worth of baby formula from a Wal-Mart located in the Watchung Square Mall.
22-year-old Altawon Peterson and a second unidentified suspect are accused of placing the stolen formula in a shopping cart and then leaving the store without paying.
According to authorities, a Watchung police officer responded to the scene after store employees reported two (2) shoplifters who had fled on foot. A Wal-Mart loss prevention officer provided the police officer with a description of the shoplifters.
Later, another Watchung police officer found the suspects hiding behind a nearby Stop & Shop. The officer arrested Mr. Peterson, but the second suspect fled the scene and has not yet been found.
In New Jersey, shoplifting is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. Shoplifting can be classified as either an indictable criminal offense or a disorderly persons offense, depending on the value of the goods stolen. Here, because the two (2) suspects are accused of stealing baby formula valued at more than $500.00, they could each be charged with third degree shoplifting. If convicted of third degree shoplifting, each suspect could be looking at up to five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison.
Mr. Peterson was being held at the Somerset County Jail in lieu of $20,000.00 bail.
To learn more, read the NJ.com article entitled “Newark Man Accused of Stealing More than $800 in Baby Formula from Wal-Mart in Watchung.”