Theft investigation finds child underneath box of merchandise in Liberty

Local News

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) – A man and woman are facing charges after police were called to the Walmart in Liberty on Friday.

According to a police report, officers were called after a man walked away from a self-checkout with merchandise while a woman continued scanning items.

The woman, later identified as Tanja Manigault, told police that her bank card had been declined and that while she was trying to sort it out with Walmart employees, the man, later identified as Devon Smallwood, left the store with the merchandise.

Police discovered a vehicle outside with merchandise sticking out of the trunk and Smallwood standing beside it.

Smallwood was detained by police as they investigated the situation.

A search of the car, which was running with the windows up, revealed a child in the back seat and another child crouched on the floorboards underneath a large box of merchandise.

Police said the temperature at the time was 85 degrees.

Police said both Smallwood and Manigault gave police fictitious names and tried to hide their identity.

The children were removed from the vehicle and turned over to Manigault’s mother.

Smallwood and Manigault were arrested at the scene. Both are facing charges of child endangering, theft, falsification, identity fraud and obstructing official business.

Both Smallwood and Manigault pleaded not guilty at their arraignment on Monday. Bond was set at $10,000 each. They are both scheduled back in court on June 10.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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