Officers from the Covington Police Department arrested a 31-year-old woman for allegedly attempting to sell food stamps on a EBT card not even issued to her.
A call came in to the CPD late Thursday morning of a woman loitering on the Kroger property and “aggressively trying to sell food stamps.” When the officer arrived he located the woman who reportedly agreed to come to the officer’s car and speak with him about the allegations against her.
After explaining to her why they were there, she reportedly told them she was not trying to sell food stamps but was at the store to pick up a prescription and had been there since 10 a.m. It was approximately 11:30 a.m. at this time. When asked why she had been at the store so long and had yet to purchase her prescription she didn’t seem to have an answer. She kept telling the officer she had come to the store to drop off a prescription, according to reports.
When asked for identification the woman reportedly began digging in her purse but never produced ID. The officer asked her to just tell him her name and date of birth but she allegedly kept digging in her purse and when the officer attempted to see inside of it she reportedly pulled it away. The officer took the purse from her and again asked for her name and date of birth. She allegedly told the officer her name was “Shannon Robinson” and that she was 30-years-old and her date of birth was in July. Since the date of birth she continued to give would make her 31-years-old, the officer found the information she was supplying him with hard to believe. Also, when he attempted to run her name through dispatch it came back that she was not on file, further cementing his belief that she was being less than honest.
The woman, who was later identified as Vashannon Robinson, was placed in the patrol car while the officer began interviewing witnesses. According to reports, a customer service employee with the store told officers that a cashier had informed her that Robinson had come through her line and was “pressuring a customer to give her cash for food stamps.” She also said that she watched Robinson come through the line later with a Hispanic man who did not appear to speak English and swiped her food stamp card for his purchase of $6.34.
A lieutenant with the Covington Fire Department was at the store during this time and reportedly told the officer that he had been approached several times in the past by people attempting to sell food stamps and “he was tired of it.” He told the officer that Robinson had approached him that day and specifically asked him if he wanted to buy some food stamps.
When Robinson was confronted with this information she reportedly said that she was walking through the line with a friend who was checking out and then walked through the line again with another friend and had “helped him out” by paying for his purchase. When asked to provide names and contact information for these friends Robinson could not, according to reports. The officer asked her if she spoke Spanish, since there would have been a language barrier between her and the “friend she helped out.” She allegedly said that she did not. When told that one witness was a lieutenant with the CFD she reportedly admitted to asking him if he wanted to buy some food stamps, “but said that she didn’t do anything wrong since he would not do it.”
Robinson was told that she was under arrest but allegedly declined to speak with the officer any further without a lawyer. In an inventory of Robinson’s purse the officer reportedly located a EBT card in another person’s name, one $1 bill, six $5 bills, one $10 bill and seven $20 bills as well as a warning that a warrant for her arrest was being issued for her in Conyers. The money was reportedly not found all together but wadded up and stuck in various areas of the purse.
Robinson was transported to the Newton County Detention Center where she was charged with fraud in obtaining public assistance and two courts of conspiracy to commit fraud in obtaining public assistance.