Westerville News & Public Opinion

Police beat

Westerville: Theft with guns has added 'implication'

A Westerville man attempted on Aug. 2 to shoplift from Kohl's,133 Huber Village Blvd. while carrying two concealed handguns and a knife, Westerville police reported.

Dennis R. Peoples, 27, of Foxtrail Circle West, reportedly walked out of the store with a $69.99 pair of shoes. A loss-prevention associate working for the store followed him into the parking lot and asked him to come back inside.

On the way back in, the associate reported that Peoples elbowed him in the chest, so the employee and "two good Samaritans" detained him until police arrived.

The men who helped the store officer saw that Peoples had a handgun, and other observers called police while Peoples was pinned on the ground and struggling, reports said.

When Westerville police arrived, they searched Peoples and found a concealed Glock 26 9mm handgun and an MP Bodyguard .380-caliber handgun. Both weapons were loaded, and Peoples also was carrying an extra magazine and a pocket knife, police reports said.

Peoples has a concealed carry permit, and told police later that he "did not realize the implication" of carrying the guns on his person while attempting to shoplift.

He was charged with one count of robbery, for resisting efforts to detain him for shoplifting, and transported to the Franklin County jail.

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

• A burglar entered a home on the 1000 block of Hepplewhite Street while the owner was home.

After putting his children down for a nap at about 1 p.m., the owner told police, he heard a noise upstairs. When he investigated, he saw a man standing at the top of his steps. He asked the man to identify himself, and he only showed him a backpack that appeared to contain a few cans of spray paint and left the residence.

When the owner checked the house's bedrooms, he noticed that a jewelry box had been disturbed but his children were fine. Police believe the suspect entered through an open garage door. A search failed to locate him.

• A witness reported seeing a man breaking into a shed in the parking lot of church in the 100 block of East Schrock Road during the early morning of July 31.

The witness also said that he saw someone using a flashlight inside the church, but the suspect was gone before police arrived.

• A resident told police his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend punched him through the window of her car while he was waiting to pick her up from work outside a business in the first block of Polaris Parkway just before 2 p.m. July 31.

The 24-year-old suspect turned himself in and admitted to throwing punches in a rage. He was charged with assault and trespassing.

• A 21-year-old woman reported to police she was duped out of $990 attempting to purchase a bulldog puppy on the Internet.

The woman said she was attempting to buy a dog from a site and was instructed to wire the money via Western Union. She did so but the animal was not delivered. She provided information about the site, email addresses and phone numbers to police, who are investigating the fraud.