Westerville News & Public Opinion

Police beat

Westerville: Three charged with store theft

Westerville police charged three people with theft March 18 in connection with more than $400 of groceries and baby supplies stolen from a store in the 600 block of North State Street.

According to police reports, two women gathered the items in a cart, pushed it out of the store without paying for the merchandise, transferred the items to a car and drove away.

An officer spotted a vehicle and suspects matching the description given by the store manager and pulled them over on a nearby street. Reports said the officer found the stolen merchandise in the car and arrested the women. A third person in the vehicle, the driver, was not in the store, but was later charged with theft after police determined he lied about his knowledge of the incident.

The arresting officer also found drug paraphernalia, including glass and metal tubes with residue, in the vehicle.

The store manager said she recognized one of the women from a week earlier, when she saw someone pushing a cart full of laundry detergent to a vehicle with the same description.

The stolen items were returned to the store. All three people -- a 35-year-old woman, a 49-year-old man and a 61-year-old woman -- are from Westerville.

In other recent incident reports from the Westerville Division of Police:

• A woman leaving for work the morning of March 16 found her vehicle damaged outside her home in the 100 block of Summit Street.

She said she saw a male standing near her car the night before and attempted to startle him with her remote starter, but did not confront him. Her vehicle was scratched along the roof and had two dents on the roof and one on the driver's side door.

• A man was charged with disorderly conduct -- intoxication after he was found lying on the ground in the first block of North Vine Street with his pants down.

The man had vomit and feces on his clothing and told officers he was walking back to a local bar to retrieve his lost cellphone. The man attempted to lean on a vehicle, smearing feces on the tire and fender, and was eventually picked up by a friend.