Two women, one from Chicago and one from Des Moines, were arrested Nov. 17 after a five-store shopping spree during which they allegedly neglected to pay for their items.
Lamya Januatica McNeal, 21, of 644 Maryland Ave., Chicago, was charged with second-degree theft, ongoing criminal activity and first-offense possession of a controlled substance.
Tamika Kasandra Smith, 21, of 2000 Meadow Chase Lane, Des Moines, was charged with second-degree theft, ongoing criminal activity and eluding.
The incident began about 10 a.m. Nov. 17 at the Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines, where officers of the West Des Moines Police Department responded to a report of theft at a retail store.
Witnesses told police that two females “fled from the store on foot and got into a gray Chevy Traverse” that “was now traveling eastbound on E. P. True Parkway from 6800 block,” according to court records.
Officers located and pursued the vehicle, which allegedly reached speeds of 75 mph in a 35 mph zone. The vehicle, driven by Smith, was eventually stopped, and the women were arrested.
Investigation revealed that McNeal and Smith also allegedly “participated in four felony thefts at Scheels locations in Coralville, Cedar Falls, West Des Moines and the Von Maur located in West Des Moines,” according to court records.
In a Nov. 16 incident in Polk County, McNeal and Smith allegedly left a retail store with “15 Marc Jacob handbags,” according to court records. A loss prevention manager at the store “confronted the two suspects and grabbed” Smith “by the coat, which fell off.”
Smith then allegedly “pulled out a bottle of pepper spray and pointed it at” the manager “and said, ‘Give me my fucking jacket back.'” The manager “did not back away, and the suspects ran to their gray Chevy Traverse,” according to court records.
The handbags’ value was estimated $4,566.
After the Nov. 17 arrest, McNeal allegedly told police she committed the thefts “because she is broke and needed to make money,” according to court records.
McNeal is held in the Dallas County Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond. She is scheduled for arraignment Dec. 4 in Dallas County District Court.
Smith is held in the Dallas County Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond. She is scheduled for arraignment Dec. 4 in Dallas County District Court.
*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is innocent until and unless proven guilty.