Three people from Eau Claire are facing felony theft and drug charges after an alleged confrontation with a Walmart employee earlier this month, according to a complaint filed Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, in Barron County Circuit Court.
The defendants are identified as Max P. Wucherpfennig, 29, Emma S. Ogg, 30, and Jesse J. Fairley, 31, all of Eau Claire.
The complaint said Rice Lake police were called to the Walmart store on the afternoon of Wednesday, Dec. 2, on a theft report.
As they were on their way to the store, police learned the suspects had left in a GMC Yukon. The store provided a license plate number. Two officers found and stopped the suspect vehicle on a frontage road near the store. The driver was identified as defendant Fairley. There were two passengers, later identified as defendants Ogg and Wucherpfennig.
In a search incident to arrest, police allegedly found defendant Wuccherpfennig in possession of crystal methamphetamine. He was taken into custody while the other suspects were taken back to Walmart.
A loss prevention officer alleged that the suspects had filled two carts with merchandise, concealing some items in plastic totes that they selected from store shelves. They were stopped as they approached the store entrance without having paid for anything.
Defendant Wucherpfennig allegedly cursed the loss prevention officer and pinned her against a vestibule door with his shopping cart.
After taking an inventory of items in the two shopping carts, store personnel said the stolen merchandise was worth $3,829.53.
The complaint charges defendant Wucherpfennig with meth possession, retail theft (both felonies) and disorderly conduct. Defendants Fairly and Ogg were each charged with felony theft.