Prosecutors can charge multiple thefts as single felony

MADISON — The state Supreme Court says multiple shoplifting incidents can count as a single felony.

The ruling stems from a case in Green County. Prosecutors there charged Autumn Marie Love Lopez and Amy Rodriguez with a felony in 2017 in connection with seven incidents of shoplifting at a Monroe Wal-Mart. According to court documents, Lopez worked at the Wal-Mart and voided out purchases Rodriguez made at a self-checkout register. They allegedly stole $1,452 worth of merchandise.

The women argued that prosecutors can’t combine shoplifting counts into a single charge and they should instead face multiple misdemeanor counts.

The Supreme Court disagreed, ruling 5-2 that Wisconsin statutes allow for multiple thefts to be prosecuted as a single crime and the definition of the crime includes retail theft.

The women’s attorney didn’t immediately return a message.