The woman who claimed her shoplifting from Walmart was research for a college term paper on kleptomania has pleaded guilty and will get a suspended sentence if the judge follows her plea agreement.
Lydia Marie Cormaney, 24, pleaded guilty Jan. 3 in District Court to two counts of felony shoplifting and two counts of misdemeanor shoplifting. As part of a plea agreement, one of the misdemeanor charges was reduced from a felony and another misdemeanor case will be dismissed.
As part of the deal, prosecutors will recommend suspended three- to six-year sentences on the felonies with three years of supervised probation and suspended 180-day jail sentences on the misdemeanors with six months of probation, all concurrent. She also will pay restitution on all the counts.
Cormaney’s attorneys can argue for probation. Sentencing is set for June 4.
Cormaney was first arrested June 5 after several Walmart employees thought her actions were suspicious when she had a shopping cart full of merchandise that she hadn’t paid for, according to court documents. Cormaney allegedly tried to roll the cart out of the tire shop but was stopped by Walmart employees, who electronically locked the door.
She had 136 items in her cart that included home supplies, DVDs and other various non-grocery items totaling $1,934.79.
She told police that she took the items as part of a college term paper on emotions that kleptomaniacs experience. Cormaney said she made a mistake by not explaining the term paper to Walmart staff beforehand.
But she couldn’t provide the name of her professor to police, who called Gillette College officials to get her class schedule. They learned that the summer semester began that same day and that Cormaney only had enrolled in a biology class, according to an affidavit.
Police got a search warrant the next day for her college dorm room and found a number of items.
Cormaney estimated the value of all the items totaled more than $10,000, according to an affidavit.
She told police that she started shoplifting about three weeks prior just as she was being forced to move into a new dorm room and move away from her best friend, who had many of the items that she later was accused of stealing. Those included pots and pans, cooking utensils, coffeemaker, toaster, blender and other household items. Many of the items were duplicated.
“Lydia explained she would need a certain item and because there were more than one on the shelf, she would take more in case she needed it in the future,” according to an affidavit.
Included in the items from Walmart were 140 DVDs, a label maker, laminating material, surge protectors, hangers, clothes hampers and Cat 6 cables.
Cormaney also is accused of felony shoplifting from Smith’s after more than $3,700 worth of makeup was found, including 124 bottles of the same brand of fingernail polish and 54 lipsticks of the same brand, as well as food items, according to the affidavit.
In her room, police also found $200 worth of office supplies allegedly taken from Office Depot. She is charged with misdemeanor shoplifting in that case.