The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office responded at 11: 44 p.m., Tuesday to a 911 call from the Speedee Mart Sunoco station, 220 Center St., Wheelersburg.
The caller reported a female customer had stolen items from inside the store and fled in her vehicle, striking an employee in the parking lot in the process.
Sheriff’s Capt. John Murphy stated deputies responded to the location and were told the suspect entered the store and allegedly stole three tall boy size beers by placing them inside her purse then leaving the store without paying. A clerk chased the female out of the building when another employee happened to be pulling onto the lot. Having observed the clerk chasing the female, he attempted to speak with her while the other clerk was getting her vehicle registration number.
According to police, at that point, the suspect backed up almost hitting the clerk behind the vehicle. She then put her vehicle into drive and accelerated, allegedly striking the male employee and causing him to flip over the hood of her vehicle.
The employee was treated by Porter Township EMS at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries.
Murphy stated the female fled the scene in her vehicle before deputies arrived, but during the subsequent investigation deputies viewed the store’s closed-circuit cameras showing the incident and suspect and were able to get a possible address on the woman. Deputies traveled to a location in Portsmouth, where they obtained information on the suspect and a possible location in Wheelersburg.
Murphy stated deputies, following the trail, later arrived at 1140 Kinker Dr., Apt E, Wheelersburg. They were advised the suspect lived at the location but was not home at that time. A deputy was leaving the apartment location when he observed the suspect vehicle and was able to make a traffic stop of the same vehicle on Center Street.
After being pulled over, the suspect was detained without incident.
Police alleged in the course of the traffic stop, the female exhibited slurred speech and admitted she had been drinking. As a result, the Ohio State Highway Patrol administered the suspect a breath analysis test, resulting in her being charged with driving under the influence.
Arrested was Erin L. Spears, 46. In addition to DUI, she was charged with aggravated robbery, a felony of the first degree. Spears appeared in Portsmouth Municipal Court on Wednesday and is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.
Murphy stated the quick arrest was a result of deputies Chase Workman and Luke Jenkins working quickly and efficiently to protect our community. Murphy further credited Porter Township EMS and the Ohio State Patrol with assisting in this case.
Donini stated this is an ongoing investigation that could result in more charges being presented to the grand jury on a later date. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Deputy Chase Workman at (740) 354-7566.