ROGERSVILLE — A North Carolina man wanted in three other states for alleged massive shoplifting expeditions through Walmart stores was sentenced to three years last week for attempting to steal $2,300 in merchandise from a Rogersville Walmart in July.
James Terry Hairston, 47, of Thomasville, N.C., pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of theft over $1,000 in Hawkins County Criminal Court. He was sentenced to three years by Judge John Dugger and fined $100.
All stolen property was also ordered returned to Walmart, including approximately $2,300 worth of merchandise Hairston attempted to steal from the Rogersville Walmart on July 20 and another $15,000 worth of Walmart merchandise apparently stolen from other stores police reportedly found in his vehicle following his arrest.
Hawkins County Assistant Attorney General Alex Pearson told the Times-News that Hairston is wanted for similar crimes in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.
Virginia is first in line to extradite Hairston after he completes his prison time in Tennessee, Pearson added.
Shortly after 4 a.m. on July 20, Hairston attempted to walk out of the Rogersville Walmart with a storage container stuffed with video games, DVDs and Blu-Rays valued at more than $2,300.
Rogersville police said store video surveillance showed Hairston putting what was later determined to be 52 video games and movies into a plastic storage container in his buggy and then pushing the buggy to the automotive department of the store.
The fire alarm was set off, and video reportedly shows Hairston returning to the general merchandise area of the store without the buggy.
Store employees found the storage container and stolen items just outside an emergency door that had apparently set off the alarm.
Police found Hairston lying on the floor in the buggy storage area at the front of the store.
Following his arrest, Hairston’s vehicle was seized from the store parking lot and its contents searched. Police found eight bags of Walmart merchandise that was believed to be stolen from other stores, with the value of each bag estimated between $3,000 to $5,000 apiece.
Dugger also heard numerous guilty pleas Friday including:
• Emily S. Arnold (also known as Emily Henegar), 40, of Rogersville, who was sentenced to two years and one day and ordered to pay $1,910 in restitution for TennCare fraud and theft over $1,000.
• Zachary Alex Markham, 24, 316 Cedar Valley Road, Rogersville, who was sentenced to two years and one day and ordered to pay $850 in restitution for burglary and theft over $1,000.
• Roy Len Simpson, 45, 1019 Mountain View Road, Rogersville, who was sentenced to two years and one day and ordered to pay $50 in restitution for burglary and theft under $500.
• Joseph Michael Cooper, 24, 415 Webster Valley Road, Rogersville, who was sentenced to two years and one day, fined $550, and ordered to pay $500 in restitution for burglary, auto burglary and theft over $500.
• Cody Lynn Williams, 22, 762 Caney Creek Road, Rogersville, who was sentenced to three years and one day and ordered to pay $3,335 in restitution for burglary, facilitation of burglary, vandalism over $500, theft over $1,000 and theft under $500.