The car of a couple arrested in Yucca Valley Sunday night showed a trail of “receipt shopping” retail crimes.
About 8 pm, Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from the Yucca Valley Walmart that a female had returned merchandise that had just been stolen. Detained were Raubin Brown, 43, and Dean Bower, 40, of Desert Hot Springs. Walmart security footage showed Bower stealing items three times, including a curling iron that he concealed in his pants. Bower gave the property to Brown, who went into the store and made a return of the stolen items. Brown was found to be on felony probation out of Riverside county and Bower was found to be on felony probation out of San Joaquin County. A search of the couple’s vehicle revealed about $200 of merchandise stolen from Walmart. Also found were several dozen more receipts (most of which had obviously been in the trash), return receipts, and gift cards to various retail establishments. After being advised of their Miranda rights, the couple admitted working together to steal merchandise for which they had scavenged receipts from the store and then returned the stolen merchandise for money, a practice known as receipt shopping. Bower and Brown were booked into Morongo Basin Jail on $25,000 each, charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and burglary.