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Posted: March 6, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Women accused of shoplifting face drug charges

Two women who reportedly tried to steal lingerie from Kmart were arrested on drug charges.

A report from the Covington Police Department said officers responded to the Kmart on Turner Lake Road around noon March 1 after receiving a call about shoplifting. A loss prevention officer at the store told police that she saw a woman, later identified as Tiffany Smith, conceal several items in her bag and leave with another woman, identified as Tammy Wheelis.

The loss prevention officer and another employee at the store reportedly followed the two women to the front of the store and asked them to return inside to pay for their items. However, they reportedly continued out of the store toward a red Chevrolet Tahoe.

When police arrived, they reportedly approached the two women at the vehicle, which had two male passengers inside.

As one of the officers was searching Smith, she reportedly kept saying that she was embarrassed that she had to steal women’s undergarments and that she did not have any money.

The officer asked Wheelis if she had a bag and she reportedly said yes, but stated she did not take any of Kmart’s merchandise. When searching the vehicle, officers found a white tote bag behind the passenger’s seat that reportedly belonged to Smith.

Inside that bag, the report stated, were several pairs of women’s underwear, a blue glass pipe with residue on the inside, a clear glass tube with white residue that appeared to be dark and burned on one end, and a plastic straw with white residue. The stolen items recovered amounted to about $58.

Wheelis reportedly walked to the front passenger side of a red Chevrolet Tahoe, picked up a black and pink backpack and quickly removed something from the bag, hiding it behind her back.

The officer asked Wheelis to show him what was behind her back and she showed him a small blue and purple tin with "Holiday Treats" written on the top. When asked what was in the tin, Wheelis reportedly opened the tin and closed it quickly. The officer saw what appeared to be a green leafy substance. When Wheelis was asked if the substance was marijuana, she said yes. Wheelis was then arrested and put in the officer’s patrol vehicle.

The officer continued to search the backpack, but did not find any of Kmart’s merchandise. He did find a digital scale with "digitize" written on top, the report stated.

According to the report, Wheelis asked if she could talk to her boyfriend, one of the men in the Tahoe, so that he could retrieve money from her bra, but the officer told the man that he was not allowed have contact with Wheelis.

The officer asked where her money was and she stated in her bra on right side.

"As I retrieved the money, I also found a brown wrapper containing a leafy substance. Wheelis stated that she forgot it was there,’’ the report said. "I collected the brown wrapper containing the leafy substance and handed the money to the woman’s boyfriend."

That’s when Wheelis reportedly became emotional and told the officer that she needed to tell him something else. The officer escorted Wheelis to the back of the patrol car, where she reportedly became very upset and said, "I do have something else on me. I need help." The officer retrieved two plastic baggies from the left side of the woman’s bra. One contained shards of a crystal-like substance and the second contained two white oval pills with "RI80" inscribed on one side and a cross on the other. The woman reportedly said she was told the pills were for pain, but she didn’t have a prescription for them.

Both women were arrested and taken to the Newton County Jail. Wheelis was charged with possession of methamphetamine, prescription drugs not in original container, and possession of marijuana. Smith was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug-related objects, and theft by shoplifting.

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