Louisiana Woman Charged with 21 Counts of Computer Fraud and Other Crimes in Connection with Self-Checkout Thefts

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Published March 11, 2023

Louisiana Woman Charged with 21 Counts of Computer Fraud and Other Crimes in Connection with Self-Checkout Thefts

Rapides Parish, Louisiana – A Louisiana woman has been charged with 21 counts of computer fraud and other crimes in connection with multiple self-checkout thefts.

The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office reported on February 10, 2023, that patrol deputies responded to a business in the 12000 block of LA Highway 28 East, Deville, Louisiana, in connection to a theft. Deputies arrived and spoke with the manager, who indicated that store products had reportedly been taken via the self-checkout computer system.
Deputies took the first allegation and made contact with the suspect, Heather Leone Chretien, 34, of Pineville, Louisiana. Chretien was issued a minor stealing citation and released. The theft was reported to Sheriff’s Detectives from the Kolin Substation, and the matter was assigned for further investigation.

Investigators started their investigation by reviewing camera footage of Chretien’s visits to the store. Authorities were able to ascertain during the last two months, thanks to their investigation and the aid of the store manager, that Chretien had used the computer self-checkout system several times, taking over $2500 in products. Police reportedly identified a second suspect, Brian Keith Baldwin, 46, of Deville, as an accomplice during the inquiry.

Investigators were able to establish sufficient probable cause, and warrants for Chretien and Baldwin’s arrest were obtained.

On February 25, 2023, Patrol Deputies apprehended Chretien and Baldwin without incident and placed them in the Rapides Parish Detention Center. Chretien is still being held in jail on a $31,000 bond at the time of this release. Baldwin was released on a $3,500 bail on February 27th.

In total, Heather Leone Chretien, 35, of Pineville, Louisiana was charged with 21 counts of Computer Fraud, 1 count of Theft greater than $1,000, 1 count of theft less than $5,000, 6 counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles, and 2 counts of Criminal Conspiracy.

Brian Keith Baldwin, 46, of Deville, Louisiana was charged with 2 counts of Criminal Conspiracy, 2 counts of Theft less than $1,000, and 5 counts of Contempt of Court.

An arrest is an indication that probable cause exists to believe the subject was involved in the offense alleged. A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.