Thursday , August 21, 2014 - 12:01 PM
SOUTH OGDEN — An Ogden woman is in the Weber County Jail after allegedly stealing merchandise and an employee's purse at a jewelry boutique while her boyfriend was next door visiting his insurance agent.
Paula Prebble, 50, walked into Bumbles at 4390 Washington Blvd. on Aug. 14 and snatched two pieces of jewelry and a watch, police said, in addition to the purse and the "large amount of cash" that was in it.
Prebble is charged with theft, a third-degree felony. She is also accused of drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, both class B misdemeanors. Prebble’s criminal history includes a reputation for theft, having been found guilty of the crime in four cases since 2004. Another theft charge against Prebble was dropped in 2009.
Prebble and her boyfriend drove to Ogden after she told him about taking the various items, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by South Ogden police. They arrived at a Chevron gas station at the intersection of Harrison Boulevard and 21st Street, the affidavit said, where Pebbles dumped the purse into a Dumpster.
Craig Nichols, whose wife works at the store, told the Standard-Examiner he has learned $300 was taken from the victim's purse.
Officers reportedly identified Prebble’s boyfriend, who has not been charged in connection with the case, by reviewing surveillance footage and interviewing his insurance agent. They used that information to find Prebble, who was a passenger in a traffic stop Saturday.
Prebble admitted to taking the purse and the valuables after "she didn't see any employees inside the showroom," the affidavit said. She also allegedly admitted to taking cash from the victim's wallet and later disposing of the purse.
Nichols told the Standard-Examiner the employee had left the front of the store for less than a minute. He also said the victim's phone and keys were taken and never recovered, although they weren't mentioned by police in their affidavit.
Police recovered the purse after Prebble led them to the Dumpster. But Prebble was reportedly busy getting rid of drugs hidden under her clothing while on her way there. A resident contacted her transporting officer to say something was thrown out the back window of the police car while it was approaching the Chevron. The officer located the object and found it to be a bag of marijuana, the affidavit said.
Prebble’s bail is set at $7,000 for each of her three charges. Her next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 2nd District Court in Ogden.
Contact reporter Ben Lockhart at 801-625-4221 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Lockhart. Like his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/blockhartSE.
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