Woman accused of theft, hitting clerk with statue

June 08, 1994

A suspected shoplifter who struck a store clerk in the head with a ceramic statue and fled was found hiding in a closet in her apartment Sunday by county police officers, police said.

Store clerks at the E. J. Roberts Co. in the 3400 block of Fort Meade Road had told police that they saw a woman put several items of clothing in her purse about 2 p.m. and head for the doors.

When they stopped the woman and locked the doors to keep her from leaving before police arrived, she started running around the store knocking things over, police said.

She also discarded some of the suspected stolen items from her purse, but apparently inadvertently threw her identification on the floor as well, police said.

When one of the store clerks refused to unlock the doors, the suspect picked up a ceramic statue and hit the clerk in the head, police said.

The woman then put her hand in her purse and told the clerk that she would shoot her if she didn't open the door. Other customers started screaming at that point, and the clerk opened the doors to let the woman out.

An officer investigating the incident used the woman's identification to find out where she lived.

No one was at home when officers went there Saturday afternoon, but they returned the next day and found the woman hiding in the closet, police said.

Rhonda S. McKinney, 25, of the 3400 block of Andrew Court was charged with theft under $300, assault and battery, disorderly conduct and keeping a disorderly household in connection with the incident, police said.

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