OGDEN -- Getting a little old to be stuffing electronics down his pants, but a 44-year-old Riverdale man is accused of multiple shoplifting offenses, enough to qualify him for Utah State Prison.
A third arrest in a 10-year period for what is normally a class B misdemeanor upgrades shoplifting to a third-degree felony. The former is punishable by a maximum of six months in the county jail; the latter can bring up to five years in state prison.
Clay Byington's status conference on three shoplifting cases, all third-degree felonies, Monday in 2nd District Court was continued to July 8. His defense attorney asked for more time while waiting on the release of in-store security camera footage.
Byington's entry into what police say is typically a younger man's game came in 2007 with a shoplifting arrest in Riverdale. His second came in 2012, also in Riverdale.
He pleaded guilty in both cases and was fined and placed on a year's probation in the cases handled in justice courts, court records show. Formerly called city courts or the justice of the peace, the venue hears only class B and C misdemeanor cases.
The leap to felony status came in December when Byington stole a pair of Bose headphones and a Garmin GPS unit -- which he secreted on his person -- from the Target store in Riverdale, according to charging documents.
"Clay confessed to stealing the items and several others," reads a probable cause affidavit.
But, according to the allegations, Byington continued, with another theft in Roy in December and a February trip to the Ogden Walmart.
An Ogden police report accused him of opening packages of Bluetooth phones and other electronics devices, then stated he "concealed those items in his pockets. Clay passed all points of sale with those concealed items of merchandise, failing to pay for them."
Byington's prior record is limited to an alcohol-related reckless driving case in 1997, according to court records, and prescription drug violations in 2003 and 2009, all misdemeanors in Weber County.