Repeat shoplifter busted with heroin

  • By DAN BALMER
  • Saturday, January 3, 2015 9:06pm
  • News

A Kenai woman previously banned from Wal-Mart for shoplifting returned to the Kenai store on New Year’s Eve and allegedly attempted to steal more than $800 in merchandise before police caught her in the parking lot.

A loss prevention employee called Kenai police at about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday to report a woman actively stealing merchandise and preparing to leave. Elisa Harman, 46, was arrested on charges of second-degree theft, first-degree criminal trespass and two violations of conditions of release after she admitted to the theft.

Harman was also charged with possession of heroin after a search of her purse found a hypodermic needle and a metal spoon with burnt residue that tested positive for heroin, according to a Kenai police affidavit.

The theft and heroin possession charges are both class C felonies. If convicted, each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and up to $50,000 fine.

Kenai police officer Dan Smith stopped a vehicle driven by Laura Ivanoff with Harman and Harman’s 2-year-old daughter as passengers in the parking lot. Harman left a second cart of merchandise in the store and attempted to flee when police arrived. The total value of merchandise found in the vehicle was $876. Harman told Smith she needed the items and did not have any way to pay, according to the report.

According to court documents, Harman was on conditions of release for a third-degree theft from Wal-Mart on Sept. 8, 2014 when management banned her from the store. The court ordered Harman not to have contact with Wal-Mart.

Harman was arraigned in Kenai District Court Thursday and a public defender was appointed to represent her. Harman is currently jailed at Wildwood Pretrial Facility. Her next court date is Jan. 12 in Kenai.

The incident was the third reported theft at the Kenai Wal-Mart within a week. Kenai police issued a summons to Warren Belford, 29, of Kenai for fourth-degree theft and second-degree criminal mischief, both misdemeanor charges.

On New Year’s Day, Kenai police responded to a shoplifter report at about 4 a.m. and arrested Jennifer Henry, 30, of Kasilof, on an outstanding $500 Alaska State Troopers misdemeanor warrant for failure to appear for an arraignment on a previous third-degree theft charge. Henry was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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