A Richmond woman accused of robbing the Richmond JCPenney store and allegedly leaving her wallet and identification at the scene of the crime later attempted to retrieve it from police headquarters in disguise, police say.

Kimberly Jo Kirby, 44, of 101 Burdette St., Berea, was arrested July 31 on robbery in the second-degree and other charges relating to a shoplifting incident at the JCPenney store in the Richmond Mall.

Employees of the department store called police after spotting a female shoplifter, Richmond Police Sgt. Willard Reardon said.

“A female shoplifter, later identified as Kirby, was observed by store employees stealing a purse and concealing merchandise inside,” Reardon said.

Kirby allegedly then exited the store without paying for the purse or the other merchandise and was confronted outside by store employees.

“According to the loss and prevention person at JCPenney, Kirby threw the merchandise she had in her hands down outside the store and began swinging at the employee with her keys in-between her fingers,” Officer Brian Eaves of the RPD testified Tuesday, during Kirby’s preliminary hearing in district court. “After that she sped off in a silver Volkswagen.”

Meanwhile, back at JCPenney, employees going through their recovered merchandise noticed that Kirby had left her wallet inside the stolen handbag with her identification inside. These items were turned over to the police department.

A short time later, Kirby then called the store looking for her lost wallet and information. The store told her that she could find her belongings at the police department.

“Ms. Kirby called and wanted to know if anyone had found her wallet that she said had been stolen that day,” Eaves said. “And for some reason she asked if anyone was in trouble for shoplifting.”

“I told her I didn’t know anything about the shoplifting, but she could come pick up her wallet,” Eaves said, adding that after the call from Kirby, he contacted JCPenney employees to come to the station for possible identification of Kirby in the shoplifting case.

When Kirby came to the police department to retrieve her property, Eaves said she attempted to alter her appearance.

“When the shoplifting report was made her description was that she was wearing a white shirt and either blue jean shorts or capris,” Eaves said. “Kirby, when she showed up to the police station, had on glasses and a neck brace.”

Eaves then said he brought the store employee into the room were Kirby was being questioned.

“Her (Kirby) eyes widened and she said, ‘That’s the lady that tried to rob me!’” Eaves said.

Kirby later admitted to the theft, but said she did not take a swing at anyone.

Kirby was arrested and charged with robbery in the second-degree and two counts of possession of a controlled substance third-degree. The drug charges resulted from three loose schedule IV drugs that were found on her person at the time of arrest.

During her preliminary hearing, Kirby produced valid prescriptions for the loose medications that were found on her person.

Judge Brandy Oliver Brown found probable cause to pass Kirby’s case on to a grand jury.

Heather Harris can be reached at hharris@richmondregister.com or by phone at 624-6694 or 893-2341.

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