Some couples are meant to be together, seemingly finishing each other’s sentences like soul mates. Others finish each other’s crimes and are like jail mates. William Cornelius Jr. and his girlfriend got engaged in a Walmart store in Bay City, Michigan on December 30, 2018. It was oddly romantic, as Cornelius had asked a customer service worker to read a note containing his proposal over the store’s public address system. A crowd gathered around them and applauded the momentous event. Shortly thereafter, the couple morphed into Bonny and Clyde, shoplifting jewelry and sex toys, presumably to get ready for the big day!
Suspect Fell Asleep at the Food Court Table Tying His Shoes
After leaving Walmart, the pair went to the nearby Bay City Mall. The Spencer’s Gift Store inside the mall spotted one of them stealing merchandise, and called the police. The suspects fled the Mall, but the woman was found walking nearby, in between the Bob Evans and Taco Bell restaurants. She was searched, and police found a pair of gold earrings and a silver necklace. Cornelius was soon located sleeping in the mall’s food court. He had fallen asleep at a table while tying his shoes. When they searched Cornelius, they found a watch, an edible thong, a sex toy, panties, and sex candy from Spencer’s.
Fiancée Can Keep the Engagement Ring
Based on testimony from both fiancés and security camera footage from Walmart and Spencer’s, it is unclear which of them stole the jewelry. Walmart video footage does show that he bought the engagement ring there, for $29.62, so at least that doesn’t need to be returned to Walmart as stolen property.
Both of them spent New Year’s Eve in jail, ringing in the New Year together, of sorts. But the woman did post bail on New Year’s Day, before she could be arraigned on any charges. Cornelius was arraigned on January 5, 2019, on one count of third-degree retail fraud, punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a fine of $500 or three times the value of the property stolen. It’s a good guess that the $500 amount would be the higher of the two. Incidentally, Cornelius was released on a personal recognizance bond, which is a bit surprising since Cornelius was on probation at the time on a conviction of ethnic intimidation. He and his cousin had attached three black men as they walked past Cornelius’s porch. A pretrial conference is set for January 29.
In addition to wedding gifts, the couple, calling themselves “the sex toy bandits,” had asked people to donate to their GoFundMe page. Evidently the woman is planning to stand by her man. But the page has since been pulled down by GoFundMe for violations of the site’s Terms & Conditions.