By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — One of three shoplifting suspects who allegedly punched an employee at Ulta Beauty in Rib Mountain is finally in custody, more than four years after the alleged assault was reported.
Selwyn Smith, 29, of Milwaukee appeared Dec. 3 in Marathon County Circuit Court to face felony charges of robbery with use of force, aggravated battery and two counts of theft, along with misdemeanor charges of criminal damage to property. The charges, and a nationwide warrant against Smith, were filed Oct. 29, 2014 after months of investigation into the incident.
Deputies were called at about 4 p.m. on June 2, 2014 to Ulta Beauty, 3555 Rib Mountain Drive, for a report of shoplifting and assault. Police say Smith was one of several people who entered the store. That theft was reportedly part of a multi-state spree of hits on the retail chain by a group dubbed “the Grab and Go Five.”
They were believed to have taken more than $27,000 worth of perfume and cologne during the spree, which included hits at stores in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois.
Court filings show Smith is also accused of stealing merchandise from two Wausau Center mall retailers on the same day as the alleged Ulta attack. Both Hot Topic and The Buckle are named in the criminal complaint filed against Smith, who is being held on a $25,000 cash bond.
The names of the other suspects in the Wausau-area incidents were not included in the complaint. But court documents show Smith is implicated in a 2015 Pleasant Prairie, Wis. Ulta store robbery along with 31-year-old Travis Arrington, also of Milwaukee. And two women from Milwaukee, Menique Jeanelle Hardy, 26, and Mercedes D. Hardwick, 28, were also charged in Iowa for their role in the spree.
A preliminary hearing for Smith is set for Dec. 12.