Suspected Walmart shoplifter busted while stealing from Safeway

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: A woman who was suspected of shoplifting from Walmart was caught while shoplifting from Safeway.

Found to have a warrant for her arrest

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – A woman who was suspected of stealing items from Walmart was apprehended in the Safeway grocery store with concealed items from both businesses on Monday, Oct. 28. 

Safford officers were initially dispatched at about 1:03 p.m. to the Walmart at 755 S. 20th Ave. regarding two suspected shoplifters. 

Upon arrival, an asset management employee advised observing the women shoplift but said one of them complied when she was questioned about the theft and the other, later identified as Tonya Lee Nofchissey, 28, of Bylas and Thatcher, returned eight alcohol shooter bottles but fled with other concealed items. 

The Safford officer supplied a description of Nofchissey, and she was later found inside the Safeway grocery store by a Thatcher officer. After being positively identified by the Walmart associate and on surveillance footage, Nofchissey was placed under arrest. Inside her purse, the Thatcher officer located a bottle of peppermint schnapps, a small alcohol shooter, can of Dr. Pepper, two bottles of unopened nail polish, and a broken glass marijuana pipe. 

Nofchissey, who first gave the Thatcher officer a different name and birthdate, eventually copped to stealing the schnapps and Dr. Pepper from Safeway and did so after fleeing from Walmart, where she stole the nail polish. She also advised she stole several other bottles of nail polish and Halloween makeup from Walmart but had ditched it in a wash between Walmart and Safeway. Nofchissey guided the Safford officer to the wash, where he retrieved the other stolen goods. 

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Tonya Lee Nofchissey

Nofchissey was given a citation from the Safford officer for shoplifting from Walmart, and citations for shoplifting from Safeway and providing false information to a police officer were given by the Thatcher officer. She was then informed she was now trespassed from both stores and was transported to the Graham County Adult Detention Facility, where she was booked on a warrant regarding failure to appear on charges of knowingly touching with intent to injure, disorderly conduct/fighting, and criminal damage out of Thatcher Municipal Court. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 29, Nofchissey pleaded no contest to her warrant charges and guilty to her shoplifting and providing false information charges in both Thatcher Municipal and Safford Municipal courts through the Gila Valley Consolidated Court.

Nofchissey was given a fine of $350.99 for the Thatcher shoplifting case and a fine of $383.81 for the Safford shoplifting case. She is scheduled for sentencing on the warrant charges for Nov. 13 at 2 p.m.