COTTONWOOD -- A couple from the Phoenix valley area was arrested after police connected them with a shoplifting incident at Wal-Mart Tuesday morning. The store personnel called police before 6 a.m. to report a robbery in progress.
Early Monday afternoon, employees had become suspicious of four people who had been walking around picking up items, but put it all down when they saw employees watching them. One suspect, identified as Trevor Southwick, 21, of Laveen, approached a manager to ask if he could leave a black bag of items under the counter to place on layaway the following morning.
About 4 a.m. on Tuesday, employees said they saw a vehicle pull up and park in front of the front double doors. An employee took down the license, just in case.
That proved to be a good thing, since suddenly that morning, Southwick was running through the door into the car and fled without paying for the bag of goods. The manager said a young woman with a ponytail was driving. Southwick reportedly threatened two store employees with a baseball bat as he ran.
Police later traced the license plate to a local resident, whose son told police that Southwick and Celina Abbot had borrowed their out-of-town mother's car to go to Wal-Mart.
Police stopped the silver vehicle as it returned to the subdivision.
The officers allegedly found several of the stolen items in the vehicle trunk. In a locked backpack were items of drug paraphernalia, according to the report. A broken smoking pipe with residue and a syringe was found in the back seat of the patrol car where Southwick was held.
Abbot, 19, of Peoria was cited and released on a charge of shoplifting and driving on a suspended license.
Southwick was charged and jailed on charges of shoplifting with a container, altering or removing evidence and possession of paraphernalia.