PLAINVILLE -- A Hartford woman has been sentenced to probation after threatening a store employee during a shoplifting incident.
Crystal Davis, 40, will serve three years of probation after she was sentenced to such during a hearing last week in New Britain Superior Court. She was also sentenced to three years in prison, which was fully suspended.
Davis during a previous hearing pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree robbery. When she was arrested on Aug. 17, 2020, she was initially charged with second-degree robbery, fifth-degree larceny, second-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace. Those charges were not pursued in light of the plea she entered.
The day Davis was arrested, police said she was confronted by an employee of Lowe’s, located at 246 New Britain Ave., after she left the store with 15 items, collectively worth about $964, without paying for them, according to the incident report. The employee said Davis held up her arm to show that she had pepper spray, prompting him to tell her she was free to leave. She then, the employee told police, grabbed at a bulge in her waist area and said “I’ll use this instead,” the report said.
The victim told police it was evident Davis was implying she had another weapon on her, possibly including a firearm. She then left the store.
A witness to the encounter said Davis could be seen ditching what looked like a knife with a dark handle into a nearby storm drain, according to the police report. A steak knife was recovered from the drain.
The witness also told police Davis could be heard telling the employee, before she left the store, “I know where you are, I’m gonna come back for you,” the report said.
When police arrived, an officer noted in the report, Davis threw a bottle of pepper spray, pushed a carriage full of power equipment at police and said “Here, I didn’t steal it, you can have it back.” She later told police she did steal from the store, but only because multiple men kidnapped her, beat and threatened her and forced her to commit the shoplifting, according to the report.
Police noted in the report that her story had several inconsistencies and that Davis has 25 arrests on her criminal record, nine of which were for shoplifting. Police arrested her, saying, during the booking process, she uttered without any provocation “Yeah, I threatened him with the pepper spray, but I didn’t threaten him with my knife,” the report said.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.