Duo steals $1,300 in video games, sells them to retailer

It wasn’t “Grand Theft Auto,” but two Princeton residents are in hot water over their actions with video games.

Jade Katherine Abney, 20, and Nicholas James Norstuen, 24, are accused of stealing video games from area Walmart stores and selling the games at GameStop, a national chain of video game stores that buys and sells used games.

A criminal complaint filed in Mille Lacs County District Court alleges that on May 26 Abney concealed approximately 20 video games in a bag at the Princeton Walmart store and went into a bathroom. Inside the bathroom, Abney allegedly removed the cellophane wrappers from the games and put them back in her bag. Upon exciting the bathroom she allegedly gave the bag to Norstuen, who then left the store. The duo then left the parking lot in a vehicle.

An employee at Walmart recognized Abney, however. So did the investigating officer.

Police went to Abney’s home and talked with her mother. Later in the day both Abney and Norstuen went to the Princeton Police Station and made statements. In his statement, Norstuen stated that he and Abney sold video games to GameStop in Rogers. They also returned 20 video games with a value of $395.

A police officer took the 20 games back to Walmart, but a loss prevention specialist believed Norstuen and Abney stole more than the 20 games, the complaint states.

The following day the officer drove to GameStop in Rogers. There he was informed that a day earlier Abney sold 47 games to the store. On May 31 the officer returned to Walmart the 47 games valued at $982. That brought the total value of  stolen games to $1,332, the complaint states.

On June 4 Norstuen gave a second statement and admitted taking video games from the Princeton Walmart store, as well as other Walmart stores, the complaint states. He allegedly admitted to selling the games at GameStop stores and pawn shops. Abney refused to talk to police about the matter, the complaint states.

Both Norstuen and Abney are both charged with theft, with value of property at $1,001 to $5,000. Both are scheduled to appear in court Nov. 12. If found guilty of the charges, they face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

In July Abney was charged in Isanti County Court in connection with a kidnapping and motor vehicle theft following a carjacking and a high-speed chase that began at Cub Foods in Cambridge and ended with Abney’s arrest in North Branch.