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An Illinois woman is suspected of stealing more than $6,000 in merchandise from Menards in three different states.

Kelly Spears, 46, of Rockford, IL, was charged Tuesday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count of retail theft of more than $500. If convicted, she faces up to 3-1/2 years in prison or up to $10,000 in fines. Because she has multiple misdemeanor and felony theft convictions in the last five years, Spears could have up to four years added to any sentence she receives.

Criminal complaint: stealing

According to the criminal complaint, Spears was in Menards, 3101 S. Oakes Road, on May 9, 2020, when she switched the bar codes from three less expensive items to those of more expensive items; a bath fan, a heat mat, and a heat mat cable. The total loss to Menards for these products was $647.

Spears was identified in part by the ID she provided to customer service when she returned an item without a receipt, the complaint continues. Menards personnel told investigators she is suspected of pulling the same bar code scam at other store locations in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, resulting in a total loss of more than $6,000.

Charges against Spears were originally filed in August 2020, and a $5,000 warrant was issued for her arrest. Online court records indicate she was in custody Tuesday, July 26, and assigned a $500 cash bond. She was ordered to stay away from all Menards locations and will next be in court on Aug. 10 for her preliminary hearing.


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