Police: Woman with distinct style arrested after shoplifting

2012-08-08T00:00:00Z Police: Woman with distinct style arrested after shopliftingBy Jeff Burton jeff.burton@nwi.com, (219) 548-4354 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | Police said a Lake Station woman's fashion sense helped officers find her in a Portage High School bathroom, after she reportedly stole from Kohl's and fled across U.S. 6.

Portage police were called to Kohl's, 6495 U.S. 6, for a shoplifting complaint about 2 p.m. Monday.

An employee said a woman left the store without paying for a pair of shoes and when confronted outside the store, she ran toward Portage High School.

The woman was barefoot and wearing blue crop pants and a black T-shirt that read "I'd Do Me," witnesses said.

An officer went to the school where students were registering for classes, and came across two teenage girls who said a woman was asking people to use a cellphone before she darted into a restroom.

The officer announced his presence outside the restroom, then went inside, where he heard rustling coming from one of the closed stalls.

The officer said a female voice then asked if she was going to go to jail, before she unlocked the stall door and came out.

The officer said Melissa Carothers, 36, of Lake Station, was found without shoes, wearing blue pants and the "I'd Do Me" T-shirt.

The woman reportedly told police she arrived at the store with a friend, and when the friend began stealing items, she ran from the store.

Police said security footage showed she arrived with Rosa Perez, 36, of Portage, but that both women stole items.

Officers found Perez back at the store and searched her car where they reportedly found stolen luggage and clothes.

Police said Carothers was arrested and faces theft, resisting law enforcement and criminal trespass charges.

Perez faces theft, drug possession, disorderly conduct and warrant charges after police said they found she had prescription pills.

Both women were taken to Porter County Jail.

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