BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The Oxford Police Department held its annual Cops and Kids event Thursday night, giving local kids the chance to shop alongside an officer using a gift card donated by Walmart.
The reported attendance numbers? Sixteen Oxford police officers, 26 children… and one shoplifter.
Yes, as the Oxford Walmart’s parking lot was arrayed with cruisers and officers swarmed its aisles, Ashley Fawley, 35, apparently decided to commit theft.
The item? A black jacket with fur valued at more than $70.
This all is according to the department’s social media accounts as well as an incident report.
According to the report, around 7:30 p.m. a store asset protection associate was notified a shoplifter might have left without paying for an item. The officer on detail, Anthony Gilbert, found a woman matching the shoplifter’s description inside a Dodge Caravan in the parking lot.
Gilbert reportedly asked Fawley if she ‘may have accidentally taken something from the store.’ Fawley replied she had not.
Some time later, after a different officer checked the surveillance video, which showed Fawley taking the jacket, Gilbert and the second officer asked Fawley again if she’d taken anything.
Again, according to the report, Fawley replied she hadn’t, but the officers saw a jacket on the floor of the van matching the description of the one taken.
In ‘digging around’ for the jacket, Fawley reportedly tried to remove the tags ‘in an attempt to hide them from the officers.’ At this point, the report says, she was removed from the van and arrested.
“Fortunately,” the department wrote on its Facebook page, “none of the kids saw or heard about this arrest. We prefer to keep the magic of the holidays intact for them.”