Walmart case yields conviction

Published 9:35am Monday, October 1, 2012

AUSTIN — A woman caught returning items to the Austin Walmart straight off the shelf for cash was convicted of a felony Friday in Mower County Court.

Shannon Marie Huinker, 40, of Austin, was convicted of theft by swindle and sentenced to five years’ supervised probation. She must pay Walmart hundreds in restitution for the stolen items.

According to the court complaint, Huinker and others went to Walmart several times in late April, took items from within the store to the returns desk and got money back. A loss prevention employee caught wind of the scheme when one alleged accomplice who called himself Scott Derkson tried to return a computer but didn’t have a receipt. Huinker was with that man at that time, according to the court complaint.

On separate occasions, Huinker reportedly returned $412, $427 and $428 worth of merchandise straight from the Walmart shelves. Huinker admitted to participating in all of the thefts. An officer also took three Walmart gift cards at a total value of $214 from Huinker and gave them back to the store.