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Police & Fire News

February 15, 2013

Clarksville police make arrests of attempted shoplifters with syringes

Two women taken to jail in unrelated, but similar, incidents

CLARKSVILLE — Clarksville police arrested two women earlier this week in unrelated cases. The cases are similar, however, as each woman had attempted to steal from area business, and both were found in unlawful possession of hypodermic needles.

Ashley Burch, 29, was arrested Tuesday after she attempted to steal a Dyson vacuum cleaner from Sears retail store, officials reported.

Clarksville police were dispatched to the store about 7 p.m. as Sears’ loss prevention officers were chasing Burch from the store. Officers arrived to the area of the nearby Sam Swope car dealership and were alerted by loss prevention officers that Burch had jumped into the back of a white vehicle.

Police located the vehicle and made a traffic stop on Kopp Lane.

Johan Palao, 37, of Clarksville, was driving the vehicle and told police that he had seen Burch being chased by a man running down Lewis and Clark Boulevard. Palao said he recognized Burch from America’s Best Inn in Clarksville and allowed her to jump into the back of the vehicle. He also said that he didn’t know Burch was being chased by law enforcement at the time she got into the vehicle.

Palao told police that once Burch was in the vehicle and saw police in the area, “ ... she became very nervous and irate, and telling him to take off and speed.”

Palao was cited for driving on a suspended license.

He gave police consent to search his vehicle, where police located a syringe in the door panel of the passenger door.

Burch was later charged in Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 with theft and unlawful possession of a syringe, both class D felonies.

She was released without bond Thursday.

Arrest made at Kroger

Clarksville police responded to Kroger grocery on Lewis and Clark Parkway about 12:30 p.m. the same day, after a shoplifter was detained by the store’s loss prevention department.

The loss prevention officers told police Ronda Keabler, 44, of Bowling Green, Ky., was seen putting merchandise into her purse. After loss prevention officers approached her, a man she was with ran off.

The items Keabler is reported to have stolen includes cheese, tomatoes, lunch meats and Krispy Kreme pastries, which had a total value of $23. Keabler complied with store officials and waited in an office at Kroger until police arrived.

Police reported that Keabler did not have any identification with her and provided the Social Security number of another person.

She was then taken to the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex in Jeffersonville. As Keabler was being booked into the jail, a female correctional officer found her in possession of six syringes.

Keabler has been charged in Clark County Circuit Court No. 3 with theft, possession of a syringe and identity deception, all class D felonies. She was also charged with A misdemeanor false informing.

Keabler remained in the jail Friday afternoon under no bond, according to jail staff.

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