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CRIME Arrest of woman leads to confiscation of items



Published: Thu, February 3, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The woman said she intended to sell the 48 products to pay for drugs.

YOUNGSTOWN -- Hot-ticket items drug users often sell to small store owners, including Similac baby formula, were confiscated from a man's BMW after the arrest of an Austintown woman.

Nichole R. Lile, 29, of Ayrshire Drive, Austintown, was arrested on two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia (syringes and spoon) Tuesday night in the Taco Bell parking lot on Belmont Avenue.

She was served with a warrant issued Jan. 10 for failure to comply with terms of probation on a March 2004 theft charge, as well as a warrant out of Austintown, although the charge wasn't immediately available.

At arraignment Wednesday in municipal court, Lile's bond was set at $5,000 on the probation charge and $3,000 on the paraphernalia charges. She will be back in court Feb. 18.

What happened

Patrolmen Ken Blair, Ronnie Jones and Carlo Eggleston were sent to the Taco Bell parking lot around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday to deal with a fight that reportedly involved several people. They were told to look for a black BMW.

The officers identified the BMW driver, a 41-year-old East Dewey Avenue man.

Lile, who had been in the passenger seat, ran to a nearby white Buick, saying it was her boyfriend's car.

She was ordered back into the BMW and complied but then took off running.

Youngstown State University campus police caught her and brought her back to the parking lot. She told Blair that she ran because of the Austintown warrant.

A search of her purse turned up two syringes and a cooking spoon with suspected heroin residue on it.

Lile's boyfriend and the BMW driver told police there was no fight. The BMW driver said Lile jumped into his car "for no reason" with a bunch of store products.

Police confiscated 48 items: eight cans of Similac; 19 Gillette Mach 3 Turbo razors; three Gillette Venus razors; two 80-count packages of Zantac 75; four 10-count packages of Zantac 75; four 90-count Pepcid AC; six 100-count packages of Tylenol extra-strength gel tabs; and two 50-count packages of Tylenol extra-strength gel tabs.

Police found the Similac behind the driver's seat. The other items were found near the front passenger seat.

During transport to jail, Lile told Blair that she was trying to sell the items to the BMW driver to pay for her drug addiction, reports show. Where the items came from wasn't noted.

Explanation

Police have said that Similac and Gillette Mach 3 Turbo razors, especially, are often stolen then resold to the owners of small stores. Unscrupulous store owners pay drug users a fraction of the products' worth and then place the items out for sale.

Last week, the manager of Rite Aid on Youngstown-Poland Road said he saw a man shoplift eight cans of Similac worth about $120. The manager jumped in his car and followed the man to the North Side where he was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property.

Afterward, the manager told The Vindicator: "Similac is a big thing they like to steal -- it's an issue with every store. I talked to the manager at Babies "R" Us in Boardman and they're going to start putting out one can at a time on the shelf."




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