Woman charged with shoplifting $2,000 in merchandise

A Hephzibah woman was charged after police found her in possession of more than $2,000 in merchandise apparently taken from Augusta Mall merchants.

According to a news release, a loss prevention officer saw Dolly Neely Blanchard, 69, placing several hats and purses behind a shopping bag in Dillard’s about 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

As an officer approached Blanchard, authorities said she hurried out of the store into the parking lot.

Asked about the merchandise, Blanchard placed
it onto the ground but claimed that it was not hers and that she was not aware she left the store with it, police said.

After offering several explanations, Blanchard asked the officers not to arrest her and said she would pay or do anything to avoid jail.

Police also discovered several hats that had not been purchased on the dashboard of her vehicle.

In the vehicle, officers recovered merchandise from J.C. Penney, American Eagle, Lenscrafters and Marshall’s. Those retailers declined to prosecute.

Among the items were seven designer purses,
18 hats, two belts, a pair of blue jeans, 43 pairs of eyeglasses, a pair of shoes, a kid’s straw hat and some perishables.

Blanchard was charged with felony shoplifting.

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