BROOMALL–On Dec. 30 at approximately 5:30 p.m., Marple police responded to Plato’s Closet in the Lawrence Park Shopping Center for a reported retail theft attempt.
Upon arrival, police spoke with the assistant manager who stated that approximately 30 minutes ago, another employee observed a woman placing shoes into her purse.
When the woman noticed the employee watching, the woman quickly asked the employee, “Does your store have shopping bags?”
The employee left the area and informed the assistant manager. When the assistant manager approached the woman and confronted her about the theft, the woman replied that she was not aware the store had shopping bags to hold items she wished to purchase.
According to the report, the woman then unbuttoned her purse and removed multiple items, which were marked for sale in the store. The assistant manager recovered all the items and advised the woman to exit the store and was not allowed back inside.
When police arrived at the store for the attempted theft, the store’s phone rang with the woman asking if police were outside the store in reference to her incident. Police informed the woman she would be receiving information in the mail and advised the woman to follow the instructions listed in the paperwork.
According to the report, the woman then called again and asked police to “cut her a break” and stated the store employee had lied to her about the police being involved. The woman continued that she was five months pregnant, just out of jail and only took a few items, according to the report.
In addition, the woman questioned the dollar amount of items the store said she concealed and, again, stated there was only a few items, and asked how could she make sure the store was not adding any additional items in with the theft, according to the report.
The amount of items stolen valued to $170. The woman was identified as Bethany Schmellick, 29, of Upper Darby. A background check showed Schmellick had 10 prior Pennsylvania retail theft chargers, six New Jersey shoplifting charges and numerous other theft offenses, according to the report. The woman is currently on probation out of Delaware County Prison.
Schmellick faces two felony charges, including Retail Theft – Transferring Merchandise From Container and Receiving Stolen Property. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 28 before Magisterial District Judge Robert D'Agostino.