Three people with Florida addresses were arrested on Saturday afternoon for their part in “till tapping” at Walmart, Commerce.
According to the report on file at the Banks County Sheriff’s Office, Mike Marks, 78, 8010 Colony Circle 105, Tamarac, Fla., Richard Lee Mitchell, 57, 2017 South Ocean Drive, Holandell, Fla., and Tiffany Mitchell, 18, 8010 Colony Circle 105, Tamarac, Fla., each face charges of party to a crime – robbery. Marks and R. Mitchell are also charges with obstructing or hindering a law enforcement officer.
A warrant was taken for a fourth person, a 55-year-old female, in connection with the crime and a female juvenile that was with the group was placed in foster care by a Banks County Department of Family & Children Services caseworker that was called to the scene.
Till-Tapping is slang term that refers to the theft of money from a cash register. Till tapping is a scheme whereby a person distracts a cashier's attention while his accomplice grabs a handful of money from the register.
According to the report approximately, $950 was taken in the scam against a clerk at Walmart.
According to the report, an officer responded to a 9-1-1 call to suspicious persons at Walmart and was advised by Banks County dispatch to stage at the Sonny’s B-B-Q restaurant parking lot. The complainant advised that the people had left the building and were heading to a silver 2012 Chrysler Town and Country van.
The officer reported he located the van on the south side of the building and initiated a traffic stop. When the officer questioned R. Mitchell, the driver of the van, he kept asking what was going on. The officer noted that the three females and the male passenger all seemed jumpy and there was a lot of movement in the van.
The male passenger, Marks, told the officer he needed to take his medication due to chest pain and the officer allowed him to exit the vehicle and go to the back of the van to get his medication.
The officer reported at that time the 55-year-old female started to complain of chest pain and advised she needed a med unit.
The complainant/loss prevention officer at Walmart told the officer that Marks had taken a letter “M” sticker off of a tag inside the store. The two females left in the van stated they didn’t know what was going on.
Medical units arrived and both Marks and the 55-year-old female were transported to Northridge Medical Center, Commerce, for treatment. However, the female left the hospital with an I.V. in her arm and BCSO officers and Commerce Police Department officers were not able to locate her.
The officer stated when he asked the two females left in the van to get out, T. Mitchell handed R. Mitchell some cash and R. Mitchell stated “it was all a mistake” and he handed the cash to the officer.
The complainant advised $950 was missing out of the cash register and when the officer counted the money, R. Mitchell gave him there was a total of $936. R. Mitchell stated the 55-year-old female took the money thinking that it was her change and it was a big mistake. The money was returned to the complainant.
The officer reported when he searched the van he found the letter “M” sticker that the complainant stated was taken from inside the store.
The complainant provided video footage of the incident that showed the 55-year-old female complete the “till tap robbery” from the cash register. T. Mitchell and the female juvenile assisted in the robbery and R. Mitchell was seen walking behind the cash registers as he was acting as a “look out” for the three females.
Marks, R. Mitchell and T. Mitchell were booked into the Banks County Jail on the above charges. The case remains under investigation by the BCSO Criminal Investigation Division.