BAY CITY, Mich. (WWJ/AP) - A Michigan couple's engagement is off to a rocky start.
Police say 25-year-old William Cornelius Jr. proposed marriage to 20-year-old Sheri Moore at a Bay City Walmart store in front of employees and other shoppers who congratulated them on Dec. 30. But later that same night, the couple was accused of shoplifting at a nearby store -- taking items including an edible thong and sex toy -- and were taken into police custody.
When questioned by police, Cornelius reportedly told them he stole the items for his fiancé.
Investigators checking out his story confirmed that Cornelius bought an engagement ring at Walmart for $29.62. Cornelius then asked an employee to read a proposal note over the store's loudspeaker, asking for his girlfriend's hand in marriage. Police say surveillance footage from the store captured the event, which shows the couple surrounded by a group of applauding shoppers.
After their big engagement the couple made their way to the Bay City Mall in Bangor Township, where employees at a Spencer's Gifts store suspected them of shoplifting and called police.
Officers responded to the scene and first made contact with Moore. She denied stealing anything, but police say she had a pair of gold earrings and a silver necklace with a star pendant that was taken from Walmart.
Officers later found Cornelius sleeping in the mall's food court, according to The Bay City Times. Upon searching him, police apparently found a watch, an edible thong, a sex toy, panties and sex candy that were taken from Spencer's. The items are valued around $80.
The couple was taken back to the police station, where Moore reportedly admitted to police that the items she had were stolen -- but she insisted she wasn't responsible, eventually pointing the finger at Cornelius.
On Tuesday, Cornelius was arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of third-degree retail fraud and was released on a personal recognizance bond. Moore posted bond before she could be arraigned on any charges, including larceny.
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