Investigation into shoplifting at the Dollar General Store in Winfield Thursday afternoon led to the arrest of two people who fled to a garage not far from the store.
Around 1:55 p.m., police responded to the report of a robbery at the discount store on east Ninth. Officers arrived to find the incident actually involved two people accused of shoplifting.
Prior to policing being called, Tony J. Musler, an employee at Dollar General, had observed, via video camera, a man and woman filling a cart with items. They then proceeded to an area of the business that was out of view of the security cameras, according to a report from Winfield Police.
Musler headed toward that area and told police he watched the pair loading items into the woman’s purse. He said he recognized the couple as having shoplifted from the store previously.
Musler confronted the female suspect, Charity M. Kropp, 26, Winfield, as she attempted to leave the store. The report indicates Musler also held the door shut to keep the suspects from leaving.
That’s when Cole A. Hubbard, 22, Haysville, is said to have pushed Musler out of the way so that Hubbard and Kropp could leave the store.
Musler followed both suspects to their vehicle. The couple attempted to leave but Hubbard had trouble getting his door open, according to police chief Danny Parker.
At that point, Musler attempted to grab Kropp’s purse and eventually ended up in a scuffle with Hubbard. Both Hubbard and Kropp had left the scene on foot before officers arrived.
They were found a short time later in an open garage in the 500 block of Alexander. Parker said stolen items were found in the woman’s purse and she acknowledged she fled, in part, because she had a warrant for a probation violation.
Police also recovered methamphetamine during the course of the investigation.
Kropp remained in jail Friday with bonds totaling $9,500. Because of the probation violation she has not bonded out.
She faces charges of theft and possession of meth. Kropp also has a warrant for theft through Sedgwick County Dist. Court.
Hubbard is facing charges for battery and theft. He remained in jail Friday morning with bond set at $1,750.
Parker said store employees were reminded of the importance of distinguishing between a report of robbery and shoplifting when calling 911.
“With the initial call being robbery, we had officers there in a hurry,” Parker said. “That creates potential for a situation ending up worse than it has to be.”