Colonial Regional police were kept busy over the weekend with four suspected retail thefts in the commercial hub near Routes 33 and 248 in Lower Nazareth.
Two incidents were at Kohl’s department store, one was at Wal-Mart and one was at Wegmans. And three involved first-time offenses.
Here are the details, according to court records:
--Erica Kristen Rockware, 22, of 223 Porter St. in Easton’s College Hill section is charged with taking $237.44 in items from the grocery section of Wal-Mart Saturday afternoon. If found guilty, it would be her first offense, and no restitution is required. And Rockware admitted to taking the items even though police weren’t questioning her at the time.
Loss-prevention officials watched as Rockware allegedly put various grocery items into reusable shopping bags she brought with her. She filled three bags and left the store without paying. The loss-prevention officials stopped her in the store’s vestibule.
She was arraigned later Saturday on a charge of retail theft and released on $2,500 unsecured bail.
--It was the second time around that allegedly foiled Darlene M. Hunsicker, 50, of 3725 Trythall St., Bethlehem Township, at Kohl’s. Police say she left with merchandise that she placed in the trunk of her car, but was stopped after entering the store a second time and trying to leave with merchandise.
The total value of the items she allegedly stole Sunday afternoon was $341.91. Like Rockware, this was her first alleged retail theft and no restitution is required.
A loss-prevention official who said he recognized Hunsicker from a previous incident he was investigating – even though she is identified as an alleged first-time offender – watched her take a shopping cart of merchandise from the store to her red 2011 Suzuki Kizashi sedan.
She was observed going into nearby stores, then returned to Kohl’s a second time. The official watched her place multiple clothing items inside a cart. This time the official stopped her after she left without paying.
She was arraigned later Sunday on a charge of retail theft and released on $2,500 unsecured bail.
--Later Sunday across Route 248 at Wegmans, Tracy Ann Lantz, 52, of 3272 Mountainview Drive, Tannersville (Monroe County), allegedly put items down her shirt and in her purse. She paid for a full cart of merchandise but did not pay for the concealed items, placing them in shopping bags along with the items she openly paid for.
She was charged with trying to steal $114.61 in various food and health-care items as well as jewelry and makeup. The records do not say what she paid for the other items in the cart.
The records say this was her third retail theft offense, raising the charge of retail theft to a third-degree felony. She was arraigned later Sunday and committed to Northampton County Prison after failing to post $5,000 bail.
--Police were called back to Kohl’s around 8:40 Sunday night and eventually arrested Jennifer Lynn Swanson, 36, of 1200 Vera Drive, Forks Township, in what could be called the “purple bag” case. A store official said she placed certain items in a cart and covered them with a purple bag. She also placed her large purse on top of the items.
She did pay for some items, but not the ones she had covered. She is accused of failing to pay for 15 clothing items worth $236.73. The records do not give the value of the items she paid for.
Swanson was charged with a first-time retail theft charge. No restitution will be required. She was arraigned later Sunday night and released on $2,500 unsecured bail.
All arraignments were before on-duty District Judge Diane Marakovits of Northampton.
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