Husband coaches wife through shoplifting heist via text

HAYDEN, Idaho - It wasn’t exactly a Bonnie and Clyde story or an Ocean’s Eleven heist, but a husband and wife were arrested in Hayden on Friday in a shoplifting scheme that went bad according the the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified by Walmart security that a woman named Celeste Vanmeter was shoplifting, and it appears her husband Russell was in the parking lot texting her instructions on how to do the deed.

Security said the pair were suspicious inside the store and then they split up. Russell went out to the parking lot, and Celeste stayed inside the store, checking her phone, and filling her cart with various items, including paint buckets, light bulbs, a small heater and an XM stereo. Security then watched as Celeste left the store with at least $148 worth of stuff before they stopped her.

Once deputies arrived and began their investigation, they asked Celeste if there was any evidence she and her husband had been planning to steal on her phone. Deputies said Celeste said no and gave them permission to look. The deputies then found the following text exchange between Celeste and her husband (Note* The text messages are written just the way deputies found them, with spelling errors):

Celeste: “I’m at Walmart.”

Russell: “Go out the grocery and wait for a bunch of people to go threw and then merge with them.”

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