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MOUNT PLEASANT, WI – A man who stole personal care, electronics and clothing items over the past two years from Walmart and Target was in court today facing retail theft charges.

Rickey Franklin, 56, Racine, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with three counts of retail theft. If convicted of the charges, he faces up to seven years nine months in prison and/or fines up to $30,000.

According to the criminal complaint, officers with the Mount Pleasant Police Department responded to a report of retail theft at Walmart, 3049 S. Oakes Road on August 11, 2017. Franklin went through several departments — pharmacy, beauty, housewares, electronics, and jewelry — taking items from the shelf. He placed some of the items in his cart. Others, he stuffed inside his shirt.

With his waistband bulging from all the personal care items he stuffed in his shirt, Franklin pushed the empty shopping cart out of the store. Paying for nothing, he got into his van and went to Menard’s parking lot.

Officers arrested Franklin in the parking lot in front of Menard’s. He had 502 packages of lights and 135 packages of other items in the van, including antifungal cream, adult diapers, toothpaste, 19 fragrances, 25 watches, and socks. This wasn’t the first time Franklin was a suspect in retail theft. Between July 6 and August 11, 2017, he took $3,3402 of merchandise from Walmart.

About two years later, Franklin returned to stealing. Officers responded Wednesday to Target, 5300 Durand Ave.,  for a report of a man stuffing items in his shirt. Staff at Target saw Franklin removing the merchandise from the shelf and putting it in his coat. When confronted, he told police that he took the $850 in items so that he could sell it for money.

The staff member at Target told police that Franklin was in the store on Tuesday as well. During that visit, he stole over $230 in Apple earbud headphones.

Racine County Court Commissioner John Bjelajac set a cash bond of $5,000. Franklin remains in custody at the Racine County Jail. He is set to be in court for a preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m. May 9.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.