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Grand Larceny charges filed in ACE Hardware theft

Grand Larceny charges filed in ACE Hardware theft

By R.L. Thompson

Felony criminal charges of grand larceny were filed in District Court in Okfuskee County on February 1 against Cortia Marie Ross from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed in this case, Okemah Police Officer Nathaniel Smith was dispatched to Ace Hardware located at 100 West Broadway in Okemah at approximately 11:00 a.m. on January 27 regarding three individuals who just came into the store and stole items from the store.  Officer Smith arrived around five minutes later and met with a man only identified in the probable cause affidavit as Walter.  Walter pulled up footage from the video cameras to share with Officer Smith.

The probable cause affidavit states the camera recorded a white Ford Expedition backing up to the side entrance of the store and a female exiting the vehicle and entering the store from the front entrance. The female entering the store, according to the affidavit, was wearing a blue hat. The blue hat becomes an identifying marker throughout the course of the affidavit.

The affidavit further states the female proceeded to occupy an employee while loading up a shopping cart. After filling the cart with “several expensive items”, the video footage revealed the female walked the cart near the side entrance where the white Ford Expedition was parked.

The affidavit states the female in the blue hat then proceeded to walk towards the front entrance speaking to employees at the front door, meanwhile, two more females, attempting to hide their faces, came in through the side entrance where the shopping cart was located and began grabbing the most expensive items from the cart. The female in the blue hat then proceeded to tell the employees she would be right back and walked out of the main entrance. The two females covering their faces  took the items and quickly made their way out of the east entrance where, according to the affidavit, all the females fled with the merchandise.

According to the affidavit, Walter stated the females have returned to the store multiple Saturdays in a row noting that “last Saturday, they were attempting to return ‘gifts’ without receipts”.

Officer Smith posted the pictures from the camera footage to the Okemah Police Department Facebook account asking for help to identify the persons of interest. The affidavit states that while Walter was working to obtain camera footage, Officer Smith was called by dispatch notifying him the three females were located at the Okemah Casino.

The affidavit states Officer Smith was met at the casino by Okemah Police Officer Earnest Jordan and Deputy Sheriff Ralph Stumpf.  Officer Smith noticed the white Expedition in the parking lot as he arrived. Casino security directed the three officers to where the women were in the casino.

The affidavit discloses the women were located, placed in handcuffs and detained. Officer Smith did cash out their remaining balances and returned the money to the women. Two of the women, who faces were covered, were placed in Officer Smith’s police unit and the woman wearing the blue hat was place in Officer Jordan’s police unit.  The woman wearing the blue hat was identified as Cortia Ross. In the affidavit, Ross stated she didn’t steal anything, and it was a misunderstanding. Officer Smith informed her that she was caught on camera, and he knew the items were in the vehicle. Ross said she didn’t know they were going to steal and she had a voucher for the items. Ross agreed to allow Officer Smith to obtain the keys to the vehicle in question and to retrieve the items from it.

According to the affidavit, the other two women claimed they didn’t know they were stealing the items at ACE Hardware. They claimed they thought the items were paid for. Officer Smith informed both women about the camera footage showing them backing up to the east door, covering their faces and grabbing the items and running back out of the door.

The first female identified herself initially as Tanasha Johnson. When Officer Smith attempted to run her name, there was no return even after trying several times. She then stated she had another last name, “Cravens”. When this name was check, she had a warrant from Tulsa County for Larceny from a Retailer and possession of CDS.

The other woman provided a false name initially and later was identified as Daneshia Craven. She had warrants out of Ottawa County as well as Ross for Grand Larceny. Craven had another warrant from Ottawa County for falsely impersonating another to create liability.

When Officer Smith opened the vehicle driver side door, tool batteries and charges fell out of the vehicle from the seat. The officers also found what appeared to be marijuana and Officer Jordan located “several little baggies” containing a white crystal-like substance that he believed to be meth, according to the affidavit.

Multiple debit cards, credit cards, checks, W-2 forms, a social security card and a handful of mail with different addresses and names on them. Also located was a paper with several card numbers written on it with certain ones being scratched off, marked expired or deactivated.  The vehicle was towed to the Okemah Police Department where it was searched more thoroughly. According to the affidavit, approximately, $3,900 of merchandise was believed to be found in the vehicle.

Cortia Marie Ross was arrested and placed in Okfuskee County Jail. A bond was set at $25,000. She was initially charged on February 1 with Grand Larceny. The court appointed attorney will represent Ross when she returns to court on February 8.

1 Comment

  1. George P Garrick on February 19, 2024 at 12:29 am

    Good law in forcement.

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