A series of alleged shoplifting incidents at the Rice Lake Walmart has resulted in multiple felony charges against three people from Rice Lake, according to a complaint filed Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Barron County Circuit Court.
The defendants are identified as Scott L. Miller Sr., 52, his son, Scott L. Miller Jr., 29, and his girlfriend, Megan R. Trepania, 22, all of 125 1/2 S. Wisconsin Ave., Rice Lake.
The investigation began Dec. 12 when the store contacted city police and showed them surveillance photos allegedly involving the same vehicle in shoplifting incidents on Dec. 10 and Oct. 30, 2020.
Investigators later determined the suspect vehicle is owned by defendant Miller Sr. Surveillance photos were also compared to a recent jail booking photo that showed a man with the same neck tattoo. He was later identified as defendant Miller Jr.
The Dec. 10 surveillance video allegedly shows defendants Miller Jr. and Trepania leaving the store with items they didn’t pay for, including electronic products, a television and DVDs, collectively valued at $1,139.84.
At the time, defendants Miller Jr. and Trepania had already been ordered not to visit the store because they would be charged with trespassing, the complaint said.
On Dec. 16, police were told that the suspects were back at the store. With them was defendant Miller Sr., whom surveillance video allegedly showed had taken a microwave oven from the store on Dec. 5.
An officer staked out the suspect vehicle and allegedly saw defendant Trepania arrive with a cart full of merchandise. Loss prevention personnel later alleged the merchandise hadn’t been paid for. The officer watched as defendant Trepania allegedly removed her shirt, then two other shirts, both of which appeared to be new.
She then left along with a second woman not charged in the complaint. Police stopped the vehicle nearby and confiscated allegedly stolen merchandise worth $160.14.
Police later learned that defendant Miller Sr. was still in the store. An officer stopped the defendant as he left the building with a cart full of merchandise that allegedly hadn’t been paid for. He was arrested.
On Dec. 17, city officers executed a search warrant at the defendants’ home. Confiscated during the search was an unopened box that contained a microwave oven allegedly stolen Dec. 5, a set of knives, a coach light still in its box, more than 20 DVDs, an electric grinding tool, a DVD player, a hair clipper set, a pair of men’s boots, a 58-inch flat screen TV, several pairs of jeans and a 14-piece cookware set, all allegedly stolen from Walmart.
Also found and confiscated were a glass smoking device with residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, a plastic straw with meth inside, and several hypodermic needles, one of which contained meth.
The complaint charges the defendants as follows: Miller Sr., felony retail theft, and possession of meth; Miller Jr., felony retail theft and misdemeanor trespassing; and Trepania, felony retail theft, possession of meth and two counts of trespassing.