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The Journal Gazette

  • Ratcliff

  • Hair

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 1:00 am

Neighbors charged with separate Walmart thefts

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Each man claimed the other was the criminal mastermind and that he was only following instructions.

The two got away with a $1,200 iPhone XS Max from the Walmart on Coldwater Road on Sept. 27 and nearly $4,000 worth of electronic items the night of Sept. 30 at the Walmart on Maysville Road, according to court documents.

Denalius Chantae Ratcliff, 21, of the 3700 block of Hiawatha Boulevard, told police he got a television and Xbox and took home $260 after he sold them on the street.

His neighbor, Dale Austin Hair, 22, of the 3600 block of Hiawatha Boulevard, got nothing but $20 in gas money, he said. He didn't mention the stolen iPhone police found on him with an incriminating serial number, court documents said.

Video surveillance caught the two Sept. 27 entering the Coldwater Road store at 4:17 a.m. after arriving in Hair's 2014 white Chevrolet Impala. Ratcliff was seen using bolt cutters to cut a metal display bracket holding the iPhone. Hair put it in his pants pocket. By 4:30 a.m., the two were out the door, court records said.

A few days later, the two were seen entering the Maysville Road store at 11:15 p.m.

At 11:22 p.m. they arrived at the Xbox One case and waited for customers to leave. Hair pulled something out of his right pocket and got out of camera view in front of the Xbox One case while Ratcliff kept watch. Each man put two Xbox consoles in his cart, court records said.

At 11:28 p.m., the men entered the garden center where Hair went behind a shelving unit. Employees later found a hole cut out of the wall behind the shelving unit, court records said.

The men shoved stolen goods into the hole and then retrieved the items on the outside. At one point, the camera caught the Impala with its lights off moving along the building to make the pickup, court records said.

The last camera appearance was at 2:10 a.m. when the men were seen running while carrying a television together toward their parking spot, court records said.

Their haul included two Samsung 55-inch televisions valued at $548 each, an LG 65-inch television valued at $848 and four Xbox One consoles worth $499 apiece, court records said.

Both men were charged Tuesday with felony corrupt business influence and two counts of theft with two misdemeanor criminal mischief charges.

Hair was released on his own recognizance. Ratcliff was being held at Allen County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail and in lieu of no bail for a previous criminal conversion charge, according to a jail spokesman.

They both have court hearings Friday. 

jduffy@jg.net