Shoplifter not crafty, facing prison time

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, April 12, 2014
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A Sunset woman could be looking at up to 10 years in prison for allegedly stealing items including Krazy Glue and popcorn from a local retailer.

Tena Marie Cage

Tena Marie Cage, 55, was indicted by a Wise County grand jury March 27 for theft less than $1,500 with two or more previous convictions.

According to Decatur Police Sgt. Mike Picha, Cage was arrested for shoplifting last July 12 at Wal-Mart in Decatur. A loss prevention officer found her past the point of sale with items concealed in her purse.

According to the indictment on file at the Wise County District Clerk’s office, those items included “Krazy Glue, Super Glue, Activity Kit and two bags of Chester’s popcorn.”

“It looks like she was working on some kind of craft project,” Picha said.

The total amount of items found in Cage’s purse totaled $189.16, he noted. That would normally constitute theft $50-$500 – a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in county jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

However, Cage has twice been convicted of theft $50-$500 – once in July 2003 in Tarrant County and again in August 2003 in Denton County. Because of those two prior convictions, a third conviction would become a state jail felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

But the indictment also carries an enhancement paragraph, pointing out that Cage was convicted of two charges of possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram in November 2003 in Montague County. Those state jail felony convictions bump the punishment range for the shoplifting charge to that of a third-degree felony – a minimum of two years to a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

While this type of case is rare, Picha said the law states that after two theft convictions, any type of theft, even something as small as a pack of gum, could lead to a felony charge.

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