Bladenboro Police Chief Ronnie Rising said Keesha Lynette Ruffin, Terry Wayne Wright Jr., and Donna Cribb Hester were arrested in unrelated thefts at the store.
Ruffin, 33, lives at 419 Harmony Homes, Apt. 10, Bladenboro. She was charged Aug. 5 with felony conspiracy, possession of stolen goods, filing a false report, and two counts of larceny by employee. She was released on bond.
Hester, 24, listed her address as 3529 N.C. 131 S., Bladenboro. She was charged with larceny by employee, and released on a $2,000 bond.
Wright, 18, gave his address as 1295 W. Seaboard St., Bladenboro. He was charged with common law robbery, felony larceny, possession of stolen goods, felony conspiracy, and extortion. He is in he Bladen County Jail under $10,000 bond. Wright was not an employee of the store, Rising said.
Rising said Ruffin called police on July 28 to report an armed robbery. She claimed a black male had entered the store, inquired about a movie, then demanded money. Ruffin allegedly told police the man then climbed over the counter and snatched cash from the register before fleeing on foot.
Rising said the woman gave a detailed description of the assailant, but "something didn't add up."
"The evidence didn't support the story," Rising said.
During an interview with police and Movie Gallery loss-prevention officers, Ruffin is alleged to have admitted she and Wright made up the theft story. Ruffin and Wright reportedly had a relationship, Rising said.
Wright was also discovered to be pawning movies and game cartridges from the store in Elizabethtown, Rising said.
"We think the suspects took at least 100 DVDs and games," he said. Working with Elizabethtown Police, officers have recovered around 50, Rising said.
While performing an inventory as part of the investigation, a loss-prevention officer with the company discovered discrepancies in the store's accounts, Rising said.
Hester was brought in for questioning, and allegedly admitted taking money for rentals and voiding the sale when the customer left the store. She then allegedly kept the money, Rising said.
Hester was charged Aug. 8.
"People ought to know, if they steal, they're eventually going to get caught," Rising said.
Both women have been fired from the store, Rising said. Apparently neither knew what the other was doing, Rising said.