Shoplifting crimes at Kroger result in arrests

By Ryan Carter -

Two separate shoplifting incidents at the Kroger store in Washington C.H. this week resulted in the arrest of three Greenfield residents.

On Tuesday shortly before 7:30 p.m., Washington C.H. police were called to Kroger, 548 Clinton Ave., on a report of two individuals suspected of shoplifting. Kroger’s loss prevention officer informed police that the two suspects fled the area westbound on Leesburg Avenue after the female suspect departed the store with a cart full of items without paying.

Police were also told that before departing in the vehicle, the female suspect swung her purse at a loss prevention officer’s head when confronted.

According to reports, the cart of items totaling $459.85 was left outside in the parking lot while the suspects fled the area. Police received a description of the suspects’ van and soon after made a traffic stop of the van in the parking lot of McDonald’s, 1401 Leesburg Ave.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as Brian L. Duncan, 41, told police that he purchased two items from Kroger and did not steal anything, reports said.

The passenger in the vehicle, identified as Jessica R. Brust, 34, was asked if she had anything illegal on her person and she said she did not, according to reports. After an officer asked if he could have permission to search her purse, Brust said she would empty the contents of her purse herself.

Police said that while she emptied her purse, Brust appeared to conceal something clear in her left hand. “I asked the defendant to open her hand, which she did not,” the officer’s report stated. “The defendant was detained and a clear glass tube that broke in pieces was taken from the defendant’s left hand. The glass tube had burnt brown residue inside of it.”

Brust was arrested on robbery and possession of drug paraphernalia charges.

Duncan was asked if he had anything illegal inside of the vehicle and he said he did not, according to reports. An officer escorted K-9 officer “Edo” around the vehicle and he indicated that something was inside.

After Duncan exited, police searched the vehicle and found two grinders with white residue inside, an empty box of pseudoephedrine, an open freezer pack containing ammonium nitrate, and a lithium battery, reports said. Later, a clear tube used for the inhalation of a narcotic was found inside the vehicle.

Duncan was arrested and charged with illegal possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs. The charge was elevated to a second-degree felony due to the presence of a child inside McDonald’s.

Both Brust and Duncan were transported to the Fayette County Jail.

On Wednesday at approximately 1:30 p.m., police received another larceny complaint from the Kroger store. According to witnesses, a a man attempted to depart the store without paying for a cart filled with $702.73 worth of meat, including 15 packs of steak.

A witness reportedly tried to detain the man, but the suspect quickly loaded the items into his vehicle. The suspect allegedly struck the witness’s shopping cart multiple times in an attempt to evade. As the suspect departed the area, his vehicle struck the leg of the witness.

The witness provided the license plate number of the vehicle to police, who found that it was registered to a Greenfield resident. The Greenfield Police Department was advised of the incident and they made a traffic stop on a vehicle matching the description.

The suspect, identified as George Baker Jr., 46, was detained at 121 State Route 41. He was wearing the same clothing that matched the description provided by the witness at the time of the incident, reports said. Baker was charged with robbery and was taken to the Fayette County Jail.

By Ryan Carter

Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica

Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica