Busted! Being Short on Cash Comes Up Short as Excuse for Taking Store Items

Patch uncovers some of the stranger Tinley Park Police reports. In this edition, a Richton Park teen tells police she took merchandise without paying for it because she had no money. Except for the $63 in her purse.

Busted! takes a look at the more unusual reports that the men and women of the Tinley Park Police Department respond to. Names have been withheld to protect the innocent, the guilty and the embarrassed.

Trying to gain sympathy from law enforcement after breaking the law has become an acceptable, if somewhat questionable, practice to avoid or lessen punishment. Think tearful pleadings during a traffic stop for speeding.

However, you should always think your sob story out. For instance, if your reason for walking out of a store with merchandise you didn't pay for is because you're broke, make sure you're not carrying around enough cash to just about cover the items.

Jasmine L. Caldwell, 18, of the 3800 block of Canterbury Court in Richton Park, was charged with retail theft Nov. 24 after the loss prevention agent at Kohl's, 7500 191st St., caught her taking almost $75 worth of clothing from the store, according to a police report.

Caldwell was observed by the store agent taking socks, tights and a black skirt into a fitting room at around 3:30 p.m., then exiting without them, the report stated. She was taken to the store's security office when she tried to leave the store, and the clothing was found in her purse, the report continued. The total cost of the merchandise: $74.90.

When police arrived, Caldwell told the officer that she took the clothing because she didn't have the money to pay for them, the report stated. However, the officer found $63 in her purse at the time, the report continued.

Technically, Caldwell was correct: She was short the $74.90, which didn't include tax. But her story probably would've been a bit more powerful if all that was in her purse was a couple pennies and some loose Tic Tacs.

Police report information is provided by the Tinley Park Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.

Other Busted! Stories on Tinley Park Patch:

  • Woman's Morning Swim Ruined by Sight of Unwelcome Moon
  • Should Coupon Fight Lead to No Country Buffet for Old Man?

Other Crime and Police Stories on Tinley Park Patch:

  • State Police Scientists Testify as Case Over Punch That Left Man Paralyzed Resumes
  • Blotter: 4 Stores Cited for Selling Cigarettes to Minors
  • Orland Hills Man Charged With Reckless Homicide in Crash
  • Tinley Park Woman Dies After Early Morning Car Crash
  • Vintage Machine Guns Could Give Police Dept. Some Bucks for Those Bangs


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Bob Laird December 07, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Wouldn't it be nice if there really WAS a pinocchio effect? It would save the cops and the courts a lot of time and money. Politicians would have to strap a roller skate on the end of thier nose just to get around. Ossifer hic, I only had two beers. busted.


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