|Woman arrested after allegedly stealing from Arms of Love
By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer
A Clearfield woman was allegedly apprehended with drugs after she reportedly confessed to stealing toys and other items from an Arms of Love donation box, according to authorities.
Arms of Love has provided toys to underprivileged children locally for the past 15 years, founder Tammy Lockridge said.
It previously had given out clothing in addition to toys, but now only provides toys, she said.
The suspect has been identified as Elizabeth Louise Turner, 34. She is charged with two counts of theft by unlawful taking, first-degree, first offense possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
“The thing about it is, if she needed something I would have given it to her,” Lockridge said.
She said an employee at Mapleton Elementary School told her he had witnessed some previous thefts from the Arms of Love donation box located outside TK’s Gymnastics at 112 Brandon Way.
Lockridge is the owner of TK’s.
She said she installed cameras outside the building to capture images of any would-be thieves.
Then Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving, Lockridge said she received a call about 5 a.m. that the motion detectors at the business had detected something and set off an alarm.
Lockridge said she checked the video and found footage of a suspected thief leaving the area with toys and other items from the donation box.
She posted the video on Facebook and the woman was quickly identified.
Lockridge claims that Turner called her and told her that a friend had reportedly dropped off some items in the donation box by mistake and she had gone to retrieve them.
Lockridge said she passed on the information to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
A uniform citation concerning the incident filed by sheriff’s Det. Robert Workman claims that Turner was reportedly observed stealing items from the donation box at TK’s.
The citation states that Turner was found working at Summit Polymers on Clarence Drive at 1:19 p.m. the same day.
Turner reportedly had on the same clothes as she did in the video, media reported.
Workman claims in the citation that Turner was advised of her rights and consented to a search of her vehicle, a silver Dodge Caliber.
The citation claims that the stolen items were recovered and Turner allegedly gave a written statement about the incident.
According to the citation, a meth pipe was allegedly found in her purse, a small quantity of meth in her wallet and marijuana and rolling papers in the center console of her vehicle.
Lockridge said she wants to meet with Turner.
“I want to talk to her myself to see why she did it,” Lockridge said.
Turner was released from the Montgomery County Regional Jail after posting a $2,500 surety bond. Several conditions were placed on her upon release.
They include that she not be on TK’s property, unless approved by the owner, commit no further offenses, make all court appearances and maintain contact with her attorney. She is also ordered to not consume any alcohol or illegal drugs.
Turner is scheduled to make her first court appearance 9 a.m. Dec. 12 before Judge Don Blair.
Lockridge said Arms of Love is still in need of toys and volunteers for the giveaway that will occur Dec. 23.
Arms of Love served 435 children last year, she said.
Volunteers will gather at 3 p.m. Dec. 22 to set up for the giveaway, which starts the next evening at 6 p.m. when children with parents will go through. At 7 p.m. parents without their children can pick out toys.