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Accused shoplifter causes Kmart ruckus



Published: Tue, December 11, 2012 @ 12:04 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern

aluthern@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

A 27-year-old Youngstown woman will appear in court today to answer to charges stemming from a shoplifting that ended with a store employee taking a knee to the groin.

Tavia M. Sinkfield is charged with assault, obstructing official business, child endangering and two counts of robbery, and is set for arraignment today in Mahoning County Area Court here. She also was issued a citation for marijuana possession.

Sinkfield is accused of trying to shoplift about $90 worth of clothing from Kmart on U.S. Route 224 on Thursday.

Store employees told police Sinkfield took items into the fitting room with her 4-year-old son, and once she exited, her purse looked bigger, and employees allege they later saw her hide a pair of jeans in her coat, according to reports.

When Sinkfield did not pay for the items, two store employees asked her to stop and then said she rammed her shopping cart into a 77-year-old woman in front of her in her attempt to leave, police said.

She then kneed one of the store employees in the groin after the employee approached her. She punched a second approaching employee, who tried to grab her coat, in the mouth, reports stated.

The female customer and two employees declined medical treatment, police said.

Sinkfield was charged with obstructing official business after giving police the wrong name, records show. She was issued the drug citation after officers found suspected marijuana in her purse.

Boardman police Capt. Donald Hawkins said the number of shoplifting cases has spiked this holiday season.

From Nov. 21 to Dec. 3, Boardman police charged 21 people, including juveniles, with theft relating to shoplifting cases.

Police took an additional four shoplifting incident reports from township retailers.

“It’s tying the detective division up. The major stores ... have their own loss-prevention officers who help make arrests. Smaller stores don’t,” Hawkins said.

Shoplifting usually results in a mis- demeanor theft charge, but if the value of stolen merchandise is more than $1,000, it becomes a felony.

If force is used in a theft, no matter the value of merchandise, it usually is charged as a robbery, Hawkins said.

A robbery charge “almost always happens when [shoplifters] have been confronted, and someone tries to apprehend them,” Hawkins said.

During a shoplifting arrest, patrol officers go the retailer, file paperwork and if applicable, officers will make an arrest, drive to the township police station for booking and then take suspects to Mahoning County jail in Youngstown.

“You can only imagine the time if we have a lot of these cases,” Hawkins said.

“... These cases are caused by two things: poverty and usually drug addiction.”


Comments

1endthismess(303 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

There ya go...be sure to ride the WRTA today!

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2Voodoosdaddy(12 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Tavia , sticking it to the man

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3youngstown615(97 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Hella.....You are right, but it makes me mad that we should let these "nut cases" walk into stores a get away with just taking what they want. Back to "Hang them high days " for me !

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4JMHO(139 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Tavia is just carrying out the "spread the wealth" philosophy taught to her by her leader Borack. How dare KMart not let her have her "fair share"!

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5fcb(318 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

JMHO you lost the election! Deal with it and stick to the subject matter!

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6redvert(2048 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

fcb, you are just entirely too sensitive today! Are you just mad cause you not be gettin your stuff!

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7HeMyPO(92 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Don't worry everyone. This charge happened in Mahoning County. That means, this Loser will get Probation !!!

If you're a Criminal, it's best to do your work here in the lovely Mahoning County area... That way, you'll never see the inside of a Prison Cell !!!

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8boxerlover(124 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

Hella, are you saying we should just let anyone who had shoplifted walk out of the store? If that happens you may as well layoff all retail employees and have an open door policy. Not to mention you will have to pay more, no matter where you shop since Kmart is beneath you, for anything you buy. Remember the Home Depot hoopla? People were outraged that the thief was allowed to walk out and an employee direct for interfering. Can't have it both ways.

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9boxerlover(124 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

*fired for interfering...

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10OhioAtty666(19 comments)posted 1 year, 7 months ago

HellaBB, you display your ignorance when you say KMart won't cover the expense. In fact, it absolutely must pay for medical expenses and lost wages incurred due to time off the job. The injuries suffered by the two employees in question were sustained in the course and scope of their employment, and, therefore, covered by Workers Comp.

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