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Warrant issued in Dollar Store theft

Published February 10. 2014 12:36PM

Lansford police have issued a felony warrant for Rhonda McFarland, 37, whose last known address was 339 W. Catawissa St., Nesquehoning. She faces retail theft charges stemming from an incident that happened on Nov. 12, 2013.  

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed with District Judge Casimir Kosciolek by officer Jason Helmer, here’s what happened:
At about 4:30 p.m. that day, Helmer was serving a subpoena at the Family Dollar store on Patterson Street when store manager Nicole Diehl pointed out a woman later identified as McFarland.

She said McFarland’s purse was bulging, and it had not been when she entered the store. McFarland appeared nervous and was pacing the aisles. To Helmer, it looked as though she was trying to wait until he left the store.

McFarland bought a can of cooking spray, and as she left, the theft detectors activated. McFarland stopped, and allowed Diehl to check her purse. Diehl found a box of dryer sheets, two kinds of hand soap, and sponges, all in their original packaging and valued at $17.23.
McFarland said she had the items in her purse when she entered the store. Asked why, she told Helmer she was in the process of moving, and that’s where she had put them.

 She offered to let him check her car, which she had driven to the store and where she said she had other items related to her move. He checked, and found various plastic totes.

 He arrested McFarland, read her her Miranda rights and took her to the police station. She declined to give a written statement, and said she was already in enough trouble for giving false statements to police in an earlier incident.
McFarland’s driver’s license was found to have expired in 2005, and had two previous retail theft convictions.

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