Couple wanted for defrauding store by switching price tags

Authorities say a couple is wanted for questioning after video surveillance shows them defrauding Walmart.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – Police are on the lookout for a couple who allegedly defrauded Walmart by switching out price tags with discount clearance tags from a children’s section.

According to a Safford Police report, the scheme took place on Sept. 6 and Walmart asset protection associates informed the police about it on Sunday, Sept. 13, after reviewing surveillance footage of the crime.

According to the footage, the perpetrators were identified as Steven Fernandez and Amanda Chavarria. Fernandez had already been trespassed from the store for a previous incident.

After switching the price tags, Fernandez and Chavarria utilized a self-checkout register and paid a discounted price for the items, as seen in the store’s video surveillance. According to Walmart, the items should have totaled $253.83.

Officers are seeking to follow up with Fernandez and Chavarria for possible charges of fraudulent schemes and artifices as well as criminal trespass in the third degree against Fernandez for returning to the store after having been trespassed previously.

While shoplifting property valued at less than $1,000 is only a misdemeanor if the property is not a firearm, fraudulent schemes or artifices is a Class-5 felony.