• 37°

Shoplifting leads to foot chase, two arrests and one drug charge

Bainbridge Public Safety officers responded to Family Dollar on Sunday in reference to shoplifting, which led to the arrests of William Ezell and Keri Dollar for the possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute among other charges.

Officer Lakatie Reels and Sgt. Jamie Marshburn arrived on scene and met with manager, Jefferson Miller, who informed Reels the couple was shoplifting.

According to reports, Reels approached Dollar in the checkout line, when Ezell appeared and demanded to know what was happening.

As Reels was speaking with Dollar and Ezell, Reels noticed Dollar pull out a colorful cup from purse. Reels instructed Dollar to put that back in her purse and not to move again; she then placed Dollar under arrest and patted down Dollar to make sure there were no additional pieces of evidence consistent with shoplifting on her person.

Reels then searched Dollar’s purse, where she located the colorful cup Dollar had attempted to take out. Inside of the cup, Reels observed a digital scale and a clear baggie with a clear, crystal like substance that Reels believed to be Crystal methamphetamine.

Upon finding this, Reels informed Marshburn.

While Reels was speaking with Marshburn, Ezell kicked the front entrance of Family Dollar open and began running away, initiating a foot pursuit from Reels.

Ezell ran out the entrance and across the street into the Department of Labor. Once in the parking lot, Reels and Ezell fell to the ground and had a brief struggle, while Reels instructed Ezell to turn over.

Once Ezell was back on his feet and under control, Reels escorted him back to Family Dollar, where officers Kyle Wilford and Luke McConnell had arrived as backup. They then transported Ezell and Dollar back to BPS for booking.

Dollar was charged with theft by shoplifting and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, while Ezell was charged with theft by shoplifting and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

Once booked, Reels reviewed her body camera footage and observed Dollar tossing something out of her hand while handcuffed inside the store. Reels made contact with Miller and advised him to look in the store, as there may be additional drugs.

As Miller began looking, he found a small bag containing more crystal methamphetamine on a display containing merchandise.

McConnell retrieved the evidence and turned it over to Investigator Chris Jordan for further investigation.