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Michigan pair charged with stealing $10,000 in Walmart “cash card” scam

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Sterling Jay Jenkins, 26, and Keondreia Brentorion Williams, 23, both from Michigan, have been charged with grand theft and engaging in a scheme to defraud after allegedly using a cash card scam to purchase 10 diamond rings from a Gainesville Walmart and then returning them to a different Gainesville Walmart for a cash refund. The pair are allegedly part of a Michigan group that has been featured in media warnings about the scam.

The pair were originally arrested in Santa Rosa County and were most recently held in Walton County on an Alachua County warrant, and Williams was booked into the Alachua County jail overnight. Jenkins was sentenced to three years of probation on December 22 on a Walton County charge of organized theft and left the Walton County Jail on December 26; it is unclear where he is at this time. Jenkins was also sentenced to three years of probation in Santa Rosa County in September. The Walton County Jail site shows that he posted bail of $100,000, which is the bail set on his Alachua County warrant.

Williams was sentenced to three years of probation in Santa Rosa County in October on a charge of organized dealing in stolen property. Walton County dropped its charges against Williams.

According to the sworn complaint filed in Alachua County, the pair, along with an unknown third person, went to the Butler Plaza Walmart on July 17, 2022, and asked to purchase 10 diamond rings from the jewelry department for $10,000. They split up and checked out at two different registers. In both cases, they allegedly presented a “Huntington Cash Card” and told the cashiers to follow the instructions on the back of the card to ring it up as a “cash purchase.”

According to the article linked above, the instructions cause the cash drawer of the register to open, and the transaction is processed as a cash transaction, but the cashier falsely believes that the money was debited from the card.

The cashier handed both parties a receipt for their “purchases,” and they left the store with the rings. They then allegedly went to the northwest Walmart and returned the rings for cash.

The scam was recognized at some point by a loss prevention officer at the Butler Plaza Walmart, and surveillance video at both stores was reviewed to identify the suspects.

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office identified the pair as suspects in the same scam at “numerous” Walmarts in Florida, and Gainesville Police Department detectives compared the photos of those suspects to the video evidence, identifying the Gainesville suspects as Williams and Jenkins. The third suspect has not been identified.

Williams has two felony convictions and active warrants in other Florida counties and in Michigan. Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at $100,000.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.ย 

  • Look like good Christian folk to me…Probably in the choir and lead weekly Bible studies. Also were probably on the Dean’s list

  • I will never condone thievery but scamming Walmart is different. 90 percent of everything sold at Walmart is made in communist China. They also treat their employees like dirt I’m not be hard on these two criminals

    • Maybe they needed to provide a home for their children. Who am I to judge? Walmart has no regard for child labor laws. The corporation doesn’t care if someone even got paid to make what they are selling. I have seen no “fair trade” anything at Wally World.

      • Maybe they’re just a couple of dirtbag lowlifes running a scam. That sounds a lot more likely. No, you probably won’t find Birkenstocks or organic locally-produced goat cheese at Walmart. But that’s not an excuse to rob it. Take a look at the border and all the children getting raped every day if you are looking for a real cause.

    • Regardless of where, what, how, itโ€™s still stealing.
      Would you feel the same way if they killed the cashier? Or burned down the Walmart?
      Do some research on how much we consumers are dependent on Chinese made goods.

  • Keep them in jail.. these criminals love the easy life.. they will never learn about earning money legally with demorats in power!!. Thug once a thug always!

  • If Walmart refused to sell those rings to OBVIOUS crooks, an ACLU attorney would start a class action lawsuit.

    • Look at the make up of city and county government, then look at LA, Portland, Oregon, or any Democratic stronghold youโ€™ll see youโ€™ll answer

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