Woman Found Guilty for Stealing Over $6,000 in Merchandise from Walmart

Woman Found Guilty for Stealing Over $6,000 in Merchandise from Walmart

SWEETWATER COUNTY — Local bakery owner Roselyn Chavez was found guilty of two felony counts for the theft of $6,800 worth of Walmart merchandise. Chavez was sentenced to three years supervised probation.

The 42-year-old Rock Springs resident appeared in the Third District Court of Judge Suzannah Robinson for a two-day bench trial this week where she faced a felony charge of theft and a charge of conspiracy to commit felony theft. Chavez was sentenced 3-5 years in prison for each charge, and both sentences were suspended in favor of three years supervised probation for each charge, which will run concurrently.

The charges stem from multiple incidents occurring over a three-month period starting in January and ending in March 2023, in which Chavez and Brian Jackson stole nearly $6,800 in merchandise from Walmart. Jackson pleaded no contest Monday and received three years of supervised probation.

Advertisement - Story continues below...

Prosecuting attorney Micaela Lira said that over 1,000 items had been taken over the course of the three months, which she said “cannot be an accident”.

The Trial

Throughout the trial, Rock Springs Police Department Officer Tiffany Harris and the Walmart Asset Protection Agent who investigated the case provided testimony for the prosecution. Both witnesses described what they found throughout their separate investigations on the series of thefts that occurred from January through March 2023. They both said they reviewed around 50 surveillance videos of Chavez and Jackson at self check out registers at Walmart in Rock Springs.

Several of the videos were shown in court, showing Jackson scanning items with a handheld scanner as Chavez bagged the items. Receipts from the transactions were reviewed by both Harris and the Walmart Asset Protection Agent and showed that several of the items in their cart were not scanned during each of the checkouts.

Both witnesses said that approximately $6,800 of merchandise was taken by Chavez and Jackson together. While most transactions were done on Jackson’s credit card, approximately $1,032 was charged to Chavez’ credit card. Additionally, the witnesses said that while Chavez and Jackson often were seen together, there were a few times where Chavez was alone.

The items that were taken without being scanned or paid for often included 60-count eggs, large bags of cheese, multiple sausages, milk, which Robinson said are “all clear high ticket items”. Other items taken, though not as frequently, included cream, butter, cream cheese, and other items that Judge Robinson said are “items used for a bakery”.

Chavez’s attorney Joe Hampton motioned for acquittal based on what he believed to be insufficient information and notice given from the prosecution on what Chavez was being charged for. For a theft charge to be considered a felony, the property taken must be $1,000 in value or more. Hampton argued that Chavez should be charged with misdemeanor theft because no individual item, nor individual transaction, was of a $1,000 value.

He said that there was not information provided in the charging documents indicating that the individual thefts would be aggregated, which makes the total value of theft more than $1,000. He argued that if Chavez committed misdemeanor theft, then the second charge, which is conspiracy to commit theft, should also be a misdemeanor.

However, Judge Robinson denied this motion, stating that there was “abundant notice given” to the defense. Further, she said that aggregating the charges clarifies that this is one theft as opposed to many misdemeanor thefts that can be charged individually. Judge Robinson said that it would be “more detrimental” to Chavez if the court didn’t find it to be an aggregated case.

Judge Robinson said that it was clear that the theft was not a mistake, as it “was happening over and over again in a similar fashion”.

“The common scheme was very apparent in the videos where the defendant and Mr. Jackson were present,” she said.


Prior to sentencing, Lira recommended a split sentence, in which half of a prison sentence of 3-5 years would be served outside of prison on probation. Lira said that it would be hard for Chavez to prove that the items she stole were for personal use, instead believing the items were for the benefit of her bakery. Lira said this presented an unfair advantage to her bakery over other businesses in the community.

Hampton asked that probation be considered due to Chavez’s nature as a person.

“She’s a good person. She’s a sincere person. She’s acknowledged throughout that she’s made a mistake and has wanted to atone for it,” Hampton said.

He said that Chavez is in a situation where she’s put her life’s savings into this bakery, and the stress of paying bills led to this situation. Hampton said that he did everything he could to avoid a felony conviction, as the felony conviction will make her lose her lease, and therefore her bakery.

Chavez gave a statement, where she “sincerely apologized” to anyone this crime may have harmed. She also said that she has experienced suicidal ideation due to her mental illness and the public scrutiny this case has led to.

“All I want to do is admit my wrongs without having people who have never met me completely destroy me across social media,” Chavez said.

She said that people can be cruel, but that is not who she wants to be, and that she will not commit these actions that have led her to this conviction again.

During sentencing, Judge Robinson said that probation is warranted due to Chavez not having a history of felony crime, and due to this being a property crime and not a violent one. Additionally, Judge Robinson believes probation is a warranted sentencing since Jackson received probation earlier this week. Judge Robinson stated that it is unfortunate Chavez may lose her bakery due to the felony conviction, but that “actions have consequences”.

Judge Robinson expressed concern regarding Chavez’s suicidal ideation, and made it part of her probation that she get a mental health evaluation. Additionally, Chavez has been ordered to pay $6,852.84 in restitution fees, along with court fees.

“You have a purpose in life and you need to be here,” Judge Robinson said.