Local News

Theft Suspect: I steal to support myself, girlfriend

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash - A man busted for stealing from the Spokane Valley Walmart admitted taking the items, saying he steals to support himself and his girlfriend.

An employee at the store told sheriff's deputies that 33 year old Michael J. Welp had been kicked out of the store before and was not allowed back in.

The employee told deputies Welp "appears to know that if he gets in and out quickly, he doesn't get caught."

Sunday afternoon, she watched him enter the store wearing a green backpack. She says he walked back to the sporting goods section, picked up three packages and started to walk out the door without paying. She contacted the store's loss prevention department; Welp caused a scene as he was detained by security guards.

Welp waived his rights and agreed to be questioned by sheriff's deputies. According to a news release, "Welp stated he sells the merchandise he steals to get money to support himself and his girlfriend. Welp apologized for being in the store, but did not appear to be remorseful for his actions and would not provide information regarding the vehicle he arrived in or who was driving it."

Deputies recovered two hand warmers, two ParaHatchets and a knife from Welp's backpack; the items were returned to the store.

Welp was booked into jail on charges of 2nd Degree Burglary and 3rd Degree Theft.