CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - A Carbondale, Illinois man was sentenced to three years in prison for retail theft.
After entering a guilty plea, Larry Coats, 48, was sentenced to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, followed by one year of mandatory supervised release.
He was previously convicted of 14 theft-related offenses in Illinois, Missouri and New Jersey. His prior convictions include retail theft, theft, burglary, residential burglary, forgery and receipt of stolen property.
At around 11:49 p.m. on November 25, 2016, Black Friday, two officers from the Carbondale Police Department were patrolling the Walmart parking lot in Carbondale. During the patrol, they noticed Coats frantically trying to load a 58-inch Samsung Smart TV into the side door of a white van with a woman driving.
The officers recognized the driver of the van and knew that her driving privileges were suspended. They also knew the driver had been involved in past retail thefts in the Carbondale area. They stopped the squad car and approached the van.
When officers asked for his name, they Coats gave them a false name. He also told them that he paid for the television in the store in a self-checkout lane.
Officers said Coats did not have a receipt for the TV and based on his demeanor, officers suspected that he had stolen it, leading them to further investigate.
While officers were awaiting retrieval of the store security video, Coats changed his story several times. When the video was available, officers said they watched it and noticed Coats putting the TV in his shopping cart with the help of a store employee.
They said Coats could be seen selecting a case of Heineken beer and leaving the store without paying for either the beer or the television. The television originally had an anti-theft device on it, but the device had been removed before the officers found Coats with it.
The investigation was conducted by the Carbondale Police Department. Assistant State's Attorney Abigail Dinn was responsible for the prosecution of this case.