Tennessee man wanted for Walmart larceny
A Tennessee man has been identified as the suspect who allegedly stole about $4,000 from Walmart cash registers in late July.
Jeremy Terrell Pettway, 23, was recently arrested after being caught in the act of stealing from another Walmart cash register in Tennessee. Authorities believe the former Walmart employee is responsible for more than 30 robberies at different Walmarts in North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.
Det. Bryan Reeves at the Waynesville Police Department began investigating the case locally after Walmart reported that a man came into the store around 2 a.m. July 31, took a hammer and screwdriver from the shelves and pried open cash registers in the garden and sporting goods sections.
Reeves said the case had been cold for the past couple of months until Waynesville Police Department Dispatcher Sheila Trull did some digging online and found that police departments in Tennessee have charged Pettway for several almost identical crimes at more than two dozen Walmart stores in Tennessee alone.
After speaking with police at the other agencies and comparing video surveillance footage from other stores, Reeves believes Pettway is also responsible for the larceny in Waynesville.
Loss prevention agents at a Walmart in Collegedale, TN reportedly caught him in the act and immediately called police. When authorities arrived, Pettway attempted to outrun police in his vehicle, Reeves said.
Police told News Channel 5 in Tennessee that Pettway admitted to 11 of the larcenies during questioning, but there were at least 32 additional robberies.
“This is a textbook example of an M.O. case,” Reeves said, pointing out Pettway’s repeated actions at each store. “He does it in the exact same way every time using tools that he takes off the shelves. He definitely knew the inner workings of Walmart’s security.”
In video surveillance tapes, Pettway can be seen jumping over a security laser in the sporting goods sections and prying open the cash register using a hammer and screwdriver — doing the same thing at each store location. Reeves believes Pettway has been targeting Walmarts along the interstate dating back as far as March 2011 in Dalton, Georgia.
Pettway is currently in custody in Hamilton County, TN. Reeves said he will be serving warrants on Pettway next week charging him with larceny and damage to property, with possible other charges.