Police Briefs

Retail theft: Kennith Duane Fletcher, 26, of Waverly, was charged with misdemeanor retail theft following a Jan. 31 incident at Walmart in Athens Township. 

Athens Township police were able to stop a gray Hyundai as it tried to leave the Walmart parking lot after the store reported a retail theft Fletcher had committed, according to court documents. Fletcher, a passenger in the vehicle, was wanted on a warrant for a previous retail theft and was found with $178.10 in unpaid items from the store.

Fletcher was sent to the Bradford County Correctional Facility on $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 16.

The previous retail theft incident occurred on Jan. 3, according to police, and involved $430.44 worth of unpaid merchandise. Police said Fletcher proceeded through the self-checkout with $505.74 work of items and didn’t scan some and swapped bar codes with others. Police were notified about this theft on Jan. 21.

Police noted that Fletcher attempted another theft in which he taped bar codes over the existing bar codes between the Jan. 3 and Jan. 31 incidents and was stopped by asset protection. From this previous theft, he was charged with misdemeanor retail theft.

Assault: James Steven Kithcart, 33, of Towanda, was charged with the felony of aggravated assault – attempt to cause SBI or cause injury with extreme indifference, the schedule 2 Misdemeanor for simple assault, and a simple violation for harassment – subject other to physical contact.

Pennsylvania State Police in Towanda said that at about 9:50 a.m. on Jan. 20, a trooper was dispatched to Guthrie Towanda Memorial Hospital for a report of an assault that occurred the night before.

The trooper learned in an interview with the victim that they had checked into the Walk-In Guthrie Clinic in North Towanda Township immediately after the incident, where an x-ray showed that they had a collapsed lung. The victim was advised to go to the ER and they went to the hospital where further evaluation revealed that they also suffered a fractured rib in addition to the collapsed lung, according to the criminal complaint.

The victim said that Kithcart had entered their residence with a key and was woken up as he was opening their bedroom door with a key. Court documents show that Kithcart yelled at them, threw them onto the bed, sat on top of them and pushed down on their chest.

The victim related that they felt pain in their chest and couldn’t breathe, according to the affidavit of probable cause. They said that Kithcart then collected some items that belonged to him and left.

Later on the trooper interviewed Kithcart at PSP Towanda, where he claimed that they pushed each other after a verbal argument and that the victim had related that they had been injured. Kithcart was confined to the Bradford County Correctional Facility that day where he was unable to post a $5,000 bail. A preliminary hearing was set for 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 3.

Retail theft: Rebecca L. Austin, 40, of Ilion, N.Y., was charged with the schedule 3 Felony for retail theft – take merchandise.

Athens Township Police Department said that at about 2:56 p.m. on July 18, 2020, an officer made contact with an Asset Protection Associate at Walmart in regards to a retail theft.

The APA claimed that Austin had attempted to walk out of Walmart with a cart full of unpaid merchandise, according to the criminal complaint.

Video footage showed proof of this incident and police in Athens Township were given a copy of it. The footage shows Austin trying to blend in with customers that had already checked out and walk out the grocery side door, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Police said that a Walmart employee then stopped her and asked if she had her receipt. The employee reported in the affidavit that Austin presented a McDonald’s receipt and when she was asked about the Walmart receipt, Austin said that she “must have left it in my car.”

The employee asked her to go get the receipt as they waited with the cart. According to the criminal complaint, Austin never came back with the receipt. Video footage shows Austin leaving Walmart without a shopping cart and getting into a 2019 black Toyota 4Runner. Court documents show that two more people left the store and got into the car before it left the parking lot. Police said that the total value of the stolen merchandise was $1,058.84. Austin was confined to the Bradford County Correctional Facility on Jan. 21 where she was unable to post a $25,000 bail.

A preliminary hearing was set for 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 2.

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