Four women who allegedly entered a Dunkirk sports store during the early afternoon hours of July 26 are facing theft charges after over $1,000 worth of merchandise was found in the vehicle they were traveling in, police reported.
In documents on file in district court, Deputy Timothy Rzepkowski reported that he was sent to Olympia Sports in the Dunkirk Gateway shopping center to investigate a shoplifting. The complainant had provided police with a description of the four women, specific articles of clothing each was wearing ,and the vehicle they entered after exiting the store with a large amount of unpaid-for merchandise.
According to Rzepkowski, he and Maryland State Police Trooper First Class N. Rucker “proceeded to travel northbound on Southern Maryland Boulevard. We both observed the vehicle exiting the county and continuing northbound into Anne Arundel County. As I got behind the vehicle, the operator began to change lanes, attempting to lose me in traffic. The vehicle was a gray Nissan Altima displaying Virginia registration.”
Rzepkowski stated that as he was conducting the traffic stop, the front passenger — later identified as Brittany Denise Darden, 30, of Washington, D.C. — “was reaching into the floor of the back passenger section. As I approached the rear driver side passenger window, I observed a large amount of athletic merchandise on the back passenger floor. All merchandise still had the tags on and were also attached to hangers.”
The other occupants of the Altima were identified as Chareah Angelica Payne, 20, who was driving the vehicle; Unique Ebony Owens, 26; and Jamia Antionae Williams, 20.
Payne, Owens and Williams are also Washington residents.
In court documents, Rzepkowski described the clothing each suspect was wearing that linked them to the perpetrators described by store employees.
As part of the investigation, Cpl. Marty McCarroll of the sheriff’s office spoke with three store employees who witnessed the thefts. “All employees informed Cpl. McCarroll that all four suspects entered the establishment and asked for a specific kind of merchandise that they did not sell,” Rzepkowski stated. “They [employees] advised that all four suspects grabbed a bunch of merchandise and fled out of the establishment.”
McCarroll then went to the scene of the traffic stop, retrieved the merchandise, and returned it to Olympia.
The total amount of the theft is $1,263.50.
The four suspects were arrested and transported by van to the Calvert County Detention Center by correctional deputies.
The Altima was towed from the scene to an automotive storage facility in Huntingtown.
Payne, Darden, Owens and Williams were each charged with theft $100 to under $1,500, released on recognizance, and await hearings scheduled for Sept. 16 in district court.
A Calvert County Sheriff’s Office press release regarding the incident stated the search of the Altima also revealed two small bags containing marijuana.
However, none of the four women is currently facing a drug charge related to the find.