Man accused of using woman, 3 kids in heist

Brian Petersheim Jr., Reporter
3 Min Read

Wayne Deacons [PCSO/graphic]

Maricopa Police Department arrested a man accused of trying to use a strange woman and three children to steal more than $1,700 worth of Walmart merchandise. 

Cops arrested 41-year-old Wayne W. Deacons after surveillance footage showed him running out of the store with thousands of dollars in stolen goods. 

It was around 6:30 p.m. when officers were dispatched to Walmart on a report of shoplifting, in which the suspect, Deacons, fled on foot. Walmart employees told dispatch they detained Jessica Hinojosa, a woman they believed participated in the heist. 

Officers found Walmart employees, Hinojosa and two children outside of the store.  

Employees told officers Deacons and Hinojosa were in the store together with three children.  

Deacons and Hinojosa walked toward the exit with two full shopping carts, employees told police. Hinojosa allegedly distracted the employee by reporting her child lost while Deacons tried to sneak the merchandise outside. 

Deacons allegedly made it out the interior door but was stopped before exiting the exterior door. He then fled on foot, police said. Employees reported the cart held merchandise valued at $1,722.36. 

Hinojosa denied any involvement in the shoplifting and said she did not know Deacons’s name, according to police. Hinojosa told officers he was a stranger who randomly asked to shop at Walmart with her. 

Hinojosa also told police she was unaware Deacons tried to flee the store. She said she was waiting for a family member to pick her up. 

Employees provided officers with footage of Deacons and Hinojosa walking through the store together, and Deacons trying to leave with the merchandise without paying.  

Officers saw Hinojosa walking through the parking lot toward Deacons’ car, which was parked at the McDonald’s next door. He was in the driver’s seat, according to the police report. 

Deacons told officers he had not been in the Walmart or had any involvement in the shoplifting. Cops didn’t buy it; Deacons was placed in cuffs around 7:30 p.m. 

Deacons was booked into the Pinal County jail on one felony charge of shoplifting over $1,000. He faces more than 18 months in prison. 

Maricopa police would not immediately confirm or deny if Hinojosa was also charged or booked. 

Brian Petersheim Jr., Reporter Featured,Public Safety

2024-01-18 12:28:13 , InMaricopa

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