Police: ‘Suspicious’ Incident at Pella Walmart Turns Out to be Shoplifting Scheme


PELLA, Iowa – Three people are in custody in connection with an incident Pella Police deemed “suspicious” at Walmart Wednesday, and they say the case didn’t turn out to be what officers originally thought.

The Pella Police Department posted an advisory to the department’s Facebook page Wednesday night about a group of men at a local shopping center who appeared to “closely monitor the activities of a young mother and her infant…”

Police say the men watched the mother and child as they entered the parking lot, shopped, and returned to their vehicle.

They released descriptions of the men and said, “Though the behavior of the men did not rise to the level of criminal misconduct, it can be described as suspicious, unnatural and concerning.”

After reviewing the case, especially the surveillance video, Pella Police Chief Robert Bokinsky tells Channel 13 the men were part of a shoplifting scheme. They say they don’t believe the men intending to watch the woman and her child, but the woman’s awareness of the situation was essential in catching the suspects.

The names of the suspects and what charges they are facing have not been released.

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