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Sun., Aug. 2
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Massena woman jailed for 90 days for stealing from Walmart


MASSENA - A former Walmart employee charged with conspiring with her husband to steal hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise from the store over a several month period has been sentenced to 90 days in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson sentenced Stephanie J. Rousaw, 52, of 77 Maple St., Apt. 2, Massena, to the jail time and placed her under a one-year conditional discharge with a stipulation she commit no further offenses. He also ordered Ms. Rousaw to pay a $205 surcharge for her petit larceny conviction. She and her husband had initially been charged with felony counts of third-degree grand larceny. Her husband had previously been to 120 days jail time on June 12 for his role in the incident.

St. Lawrence County Assistant Conflict Public Defender Krista Freego had made an unsuccessful argument to keep Ms. Rousaw out of jail. She pointed out her client was caring for her son’s three children after Matthew Stewart was jailed following his arrest for punching his children’s mother in the face.

Judge Gustafson did, however, give Ms. Rousaw a 48-hour reprieve before she started her jail sentence so she could address her family obligations “Show up clean and sober. If not, they will pick you up, bring you back here and you will face up to a year in jail. Just do your 90 days, and you will be all done,” he said, noting he was not sentencing Ms. Rousaw to probation.

But the defense attorney was successful in convincing the court not to order Ms. Rousaw to make restitution of over $3,000 to Walmart. She pointed out store officials had failed to provide the court or prosecutors with proof of the amount of restitution they had requested, approximately $3,500.

Ms. Rousaw had been charged in August 2011 with using her position as a sales associate to assist her husband, Galon L., 54, in stealing items from the store, court documents show. She was terminated from Walmart following the incident.

A Walmart asset protection employee said Mr. Rousaw was identified on camera July 30, 2011 with a cart of unbagged groceries in the hardware department. There he met Ms. Rousaw, who provided him with a set of keys as he proceeded out the exit, documents show.

When store officials used the security camera system to check the previous 30 days, she found similar incidents involving the Rousaw couple.

Again on July 29, 2011, Mr. Rousaw was identified taking unbagged items out of the lawn and garden section of the store with the assistance of his wife, court records show.

On July 21, 2011, Mr. Rousaw was identified taking an air conditioner and groceries out the lawn and garden exit. Video shows Ms. Rousaw approached him near the exit, where he handed her a white piece of paper and proceeded through the exit.

In a statement, Ms. Rousaw, employed at Walmart for nearly four years, admitted to allowing her husband to go through the exits two to three times a month with unpurchased groceries. She wrote that the average amount of groceries in the cart averaged $150.

“I will never do it again and I am willing to pay (Walmart) back,” she wrote. “I am very sorry.”

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Bradley M. Deshaies, 21, of 423 Lacomb Road, Norfolk, was placed under a one-year conditional discharge with a stipulation he perform 30 hours of community service for a petit larceny conviction. He was also directed to pay a $205 surcharge.

Adam M. Lalonde, 21, of 327 Rooseveltown Road, Massena, and Deshaies had each pleaded guilty to one count of petit larceny in a plea that satisfied two other petit larceny counts stemming from the same incident.

An alert police officer on routine patrol in an unmarked vehicle had made a traffic stop at 1 a.m. July 7, 2011 after witnessing what he perceived as suspicious activity and found the two Massena-area men had just allegedly stolen three bicycles from Victory Road.

They were each charged with three counts of petit larceny by village police.

Police said an officer saw one of the men place a bicycle in the back of a truck at approximately 1:30 a.m. and made a traffic stop on Chamberlain Road, where he determined the three bicycles were stolen.

Christopher S. Hebert, 35, of 295 Hurley Road, Hemmingford, Que., formerly of Massena, was fined $300 and a $280 surcharge after a driving while intoxicated count was reduced to driving while ability impaired. His operating privileges were suspended for 90 days.

He had been stopped by police after he observed traveling 50 mph in a 30 mph zone and traveling in the wrong lane of traffic on Park Avenue, Willow Street, Center Street and the Maple Street extension. He reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent.

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