PUNTA GORDA — The Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with Walmart loss prevention personnel, held a second Operation RECEIPT on Thursday, resulting in a total of six people arrested in a six-hour time period. Between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., deputies targeted the Walmart Super Center located at 5001 Taylor Road in Punta Gorda, looking for potential shoplifters at the store. The operation acronym stands for Rapidly Engaging Criminal Entities Involving Property Thefts.
During the six-hour period, three juveniles were issued Notices to Appear on charges of retail theft. Three adults were arrested and booked at the Charlotte County Jail. Tyler Jay Brugman, 22, of Colony Court in Punta Gorda, was charged with retail theft. He was released on a $500 bond. Brittany Nicole Benson, 23, of the 5500 block of Wilson Drive in Punta Gorda, was charged with retail theft. She was released on a $500 bond. Heather Christine Vernacatola, 64, of the 27200 block of Jones Loop Road in Punta Gorda, was charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. She was released on a $2,500 bond. In October, the Sheriff’s Office and Walmart personnel conducted the first Operation RECEIPT at the Walmart Super Center in Murdock. During both the October operation and this most recent one, deputies were able to issue a “corporate” trespass notice to those who were arrested. This corporate notice applies to all four Walmart locations in Charlotte County. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to conduct these types of operations in the new year, both with area Walmarts as well as other local business that have asked to participate.
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