Police: Walmart marriage proposal celebrated with shoplifting spree

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   Jan. 8, 2016 at 4:16 PM

BAY CITY, Mich., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Authorities in Michigan said a couple who became engaged at Walmart with a loudspeaker proposal celebrated their engagement by shoplifting jewelry, underwear and sex toys.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office said William J. Cornelius Jr., 25, purchased a $29.62 engagement ring from the Walmart in Bay City on Dec. 30 and secured the permission of employees to use the store's loudspeaker to propose to his girlfriend, Sheri Moore, 20.

Surveillance footage from the store shows Cornelius going down on one knee and fellow shoppers applauding the couple after Moore accepted the proposal.

Investigators said the security cameras also recorded Moore concealing earrings and a necklace from Walmart in her purse before the couple left the store without paying for the items.

The couple next visited a nearby Spencer's Gifts store, where Cornelius allegedly shoplifted $80.93 worth of items, including a pair of "Bride-to-Be" thong panties, edible underwear and a vibrating sex toy.

Deputies found Moore walking inside the mall with a Spencer's employee in pursuit and Cornelius was found in the food court, where he apparently fell asleep while tying his shoes.

Cornelius allegedly blamed his actions on being given painkiller Tramadol during a recent hospital visit.

Cornelius was charged with retail fraud while Moore, who said she had no involvement in the thefts, was charged with larceny.

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