Akron woman charged with two thefts in Brimfield, suspect in a third

Akron woman accused of stealing from stores

By Dave O'Brien | staff writer Published:

The third time was not a charm for a woman from Akron who has allegedly been making Brimfield stores a target for theft over the past three months.

Helen E. Smith, 51, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of theft, both first-degree misdemeanors.

Police accuse her of stealing from two stores, and possibly a third, in the township between Oct. 3 and Dec. 27.

Smith and a male accomplice were caught last week after allegedly stealing $40 in Ohio Lottery tickets from the Circle K store at 1343 Tallmadge Road. Brimfield Police Chief David Oliver said Smith stole the tickets while a male accomplice, Derek D. Smoot, 45, also of Akron, distracted the clerk.

The clerk called police after the suspects fled the store. Officers William Atha and Robert Putnam spied the couple at an Internet gaming establishment on S.R. 43, arrested them and recovered the stolen lottery tickets, Oliver said.

Used hypodermic needles and a crack pipe also were recovered, he said.

Smith also is accused of entering the Kohl's store at 3886 Cascades Blvd. in Brimfield on Oct. 3 and stealing $138 worth of merchandise from the shelves. Confronted by a loss prevention officer in the parking lot, Smith allegedly ran away and drove off in a vehicle.

Smoot was charged with complicity to theft, a first-degree misdemeanor. Both he and Smith pleaded not guilty at their arraignments Thursday in Portage County Municipal Court in Ravenna, and both are being held in the Portage County jail on 10 percent $2,500 bond. A condition of Smith's bond is no contact with Kohl's or Circle K.

Smith also is a suspect in the theft of a March of Dimes donation jar from the Circle K store on Dec. 10, according to Oliver.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

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