The Richmond Register

January 30, 2013

BPD: Shoplifters used child for lookout at Cracker Barrel store

By Sarah Hogsed
Senior News Writer

BEREA — Two women were arrested last week after police say they used a young child as a lookout while they shoplifted items from the Berea Cracker Barrel.

Eve Gortney, 33, of Paint Lick, and Alicia Stewart, 33, of Berea, both were charged with theft by unlawful taking (shoplifting) and third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor.

Gortney also was charged with public intoxication and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Berea police officers were called Jan. 24 to Cracker Barrel to investigate a report of shoplifting. Store employees told the officers that two women entered the store, and one of them started tearing off price tags and putting items in her pockets.

The women were accompanied by two young children, and it appeared one child was being used as a “lookout” according to the Berea Police Department.

The other woman had a basket full of merchandise that she took to the women’s restroom, but store employees followed her and removed it, the employees told the officers.

The officers spoke to the women, and it appeared one of them had slurred speech, the BPD reported. The children were no longer in the store, and officers eventually located them inside a parked car in the parking lot.

Gortney and Stewart appeared Wednesday in Madison District Court for preliminary hearings. Court records indicate their cases were continued to 9 a.m. Feb. 6.

Unidentified woman uses trick at four businesses to steal money

A woman has been tricking local store clerks into giving her extra change after she makes a purchase, according to the BPD.

Officers were called Monday to McDonald’s after receiving a theft report. Restaurant employees told the officers a woman had placed an order and paid with a $50 bill.

After receiving her change, security cameras showed she put one of the $20 bills in her pocket and replaced it with a $1 bill, the BPD reported.

She told the store employee that she did not receive the correct change, and the worker gave her another $20.

The woman left in a black Ford Ranger pickup.

The next day, officers learned that the same woman had taken money from at least three other businesses using the same method.

Security camera images of the woman can be viewed on the Berea Police Department’s Facebook page. If anyone has any information on the identity of this person, contact Officer Cody Shepherd at 859-986-8456.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.