Police arrest alleged shoplifter

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A Cotton Valley woman who came to Minden to shop is in jail for allegedly trying to leave a store without paying for some of her items.

Crystal Maness, 38, of the 100 block of Curtis Dr., was arrested by Minden Police Tuesday afternoon. She is charged with theft by shoplifting, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and a fugitive from Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Steve Cropper said Sgt. Jason Smith was dispatched to a Sibley Road location where the store owner identified Maness.

“The owner said Maness came in the store and stayed for a long time, gathering some items for purchase,” said the chief. “When the clerk asked if that was all she was purchasing, Maness said yes. But she had with her a large black purse which contained a camouflage deer camera, wallet and several clothing items, all from that store.”

Maness reportedly did not remove any of those items when she paid for her purchases.

“The clerk became suspicious and sent a group text to another clerk and the store owner,” Cropper said. “The owner met them at the register where they emptied the purse – which came from the store – and confirmed the items inside of it.”

When the owner told Maness she was calling police, Maness reportedly became “agitated” and offered to pay for the items.

According to the report, Maness would not admit to intentionally trying to leave the store with the items.

“Lt. McClaran and Ofc. Miller arrived on scene and Maness stated she left her purse in the truck she came in,” Cropper said. “Inside the truck, in Maness’ purse, Lt. McClaran located less than 1 gram of methamphetamine, two glass pipes, rolling papers and a glass container.”

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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