When Damon Lovett, 35, was caught on camera twice stealing from a St. Louis Walmart, he told police they had the wrong guy: It was his cousin Julius Caldwell who did it.
There was, however, one pretty big problem with this explanation. Caldwell had been murdered -- days before the thefts took place.
Back in April, employees with the Walmart on Telegraph Road in south St. Louis County had observed Lovett removing a camera from its box, putting it in his jacket and walking out without paying, according to new court documents. And two days later, officials say, he returned to the same store -- for another camera.
Lovett, who lives on the 4200 block of Market Street, apparently removed another camera from its box and walked out a second time, the Post-Dispatch reports. The theft was again caught on surveillance video. The first camera cost $449 and the second $229, police say.
Police were reportedly able to trace a license plate back to Lovett, who the paper says, denied ever being in the store at all when confronted by police.
It must have been his cousin Julius Caldwell, he told cops.
He claimed that Caldwell had borrowed his car and then was murdered in St. Louis shortly before Lovett's arrest.
It's true that Caldwell was murdered, but his story didn't add up, police say.
Detectives confirmed that Caldwell was murdered -- he was shot dead inside of a car on April 21, metro police say -- but he died about three days before the Walmart thefts took place, police say.
Lovett's bail has been set at $5,000.
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