2014-03-13 / Front Page

Pair facing shoplifting charges

HOWELL — A resident of Neptune and a resident of Asbury Park were arrested on Feb. 24 after they allegedly attempted to shoplift merchandise from a local store and then tried to evade police.

According to Howell police Detective Sgt. Eileen Dodd, police received a call from representatives of Walmart, Route 9, advising them of a possible shoplifting in progress.

When a loss prevention officer at Walmart approached the two individuals, they fled the scene in a Toyota Corolla.

The individuals were subsequently identified as Sammy Davis, 49, of Neptune, and Anita Benson, 49, of Asbury Park, according to a press release.

Dodd said off-duty Howell police officers who were working a road construction detail on Lanes Mills Road saw the vehicle traveling south on Route 9 and radioed ahead to other officers.

Patrolman John Lopez attempted to stop the vehicle near Estelle Lane, but the driver ignored the officer and continued traveling south on Route 9, police said.

According to the press release, the driver continued into Lakewood, cut through a gas station and headed into a strip mall on Kennedy Boulevard, where Howell Sgt. Ronald Rhein terminated the pursuit.

Dodd said Davis left the vehicle and attempted to flee the scene on foot and was arrested by Howell Patrolman Riaz Motani. Benson did not attempt to flee the scene and was detained by Lopez.

According to the press release, Davis and Benson were each charged with shoplifting and conspiracy to commit shoplifting.

Davis was also charged with eluding police and motor vehicle offenses.

Police said Davis’ driver’s license was suspended and it was determined that Davis and Benson were wanted in several jurisdictions on outstanding criminal and motor vehicle offenses.

Davis and Benson were initially placed in the Monmouth County jail, Freehold Township, in default of the $90,000 bail.

— Greg Kennelty

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