Lehigh woman give state prison term for fourth retail theft
A Lehigh County woman was sentenced to a state prison term on Tuesday afternoon in Carbon County court on her fourth retail theft charge.
Dorothy Ann Mika, 55, of Emerald, was sentenced by President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II to serve six to 24 months in a state correctional institution.
Nanovic rejected a county sentence noting the four convictions of retail theft, all rated as felony threes.
The latest arrest occurred on Sept. 7. 2016, at the Walmart store in Mahoning Township. She was charged by township police with stealing a car battery from the store.
Mika denied that charge and went on trial on Feb. 6 before Nanovic and a jury. During the trial the commmonwealth, represented by Assistant District Attorney Michael S. Greek, showed a surveillance video from Walmart that showed Mika pushing a shopping cart out of the store with the battery inside.
Nanovic asked her if she still denied taking the battery after the video showed it in her shopping cart. She said she tried to return it when she learned she didn’t have enough money to pay for it. She said she had $70 on her and the battery was $116. She admitted not taking the battery back to where she had taken it but simply placed in on the floor in the store and left. Nanovic said that didn’t explain the battery being seen in the cart on the video.
Nanovic then asked her, “Didn’t you see the price on the battery when you placed it in the cart?” She claimed there was no price on it. He then asked, “When did you learn the price?” She said she couldn’t remember how she learned the price.
Nanovic ruled the prison term will be followed by two years of state probation. She was also ordered to get both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations, supply a DNA sample, make restitution of $116.06 to Walmart and pay court costs of about $1,000.
Mika asked for the delay of the start of the sentence, but Nanovic denied that request.
Nanovic noted several prior incidents when Mika failed to show for court proceedings, including failing to appear on Feb. 5 for the selection of a jury. Her public defender, attorney Matthew J. Mottola, selected the jury without her being present. He also said she even showed up late for the start of the trial.
Nanovic told her, “I just don’t feel comfortable letting you report to the prison. I’m afraid you won’t show up.” He then remanded her to the custody of sheriff deputies to begin the prison term.