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Woman "In Red" Helps Friend in Custody, Is Herself Arrested

Wearing a distinctive red jacket was the downfall of this alleged shoplifter who was identified by police personnel from video surveillance. She was the bond co-signer for her friend and was arrested, too.

 

Who knew what Lauri DeMichele was thinking when she arrived at the Clinton Police Department (CPD) Feb. 18 in her red coat to bail out her friend who was in custody.

Little did DeMichele know that Corporal Natasha Pucillo of the CPD would recognize her as the woman she saw on video surveillance earlier that day taking items from The Fragrance Outlet at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets.

So how did two previous arrests result in DeMichele's arrest? Here's the timeline of the story:

On Presidents' Day, Feb. 18 at around 4:30pm, the CPD were called by managers at the Calvin Klein store at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets notifying them of a recent shoplifting of perfumes by two individuals, a woman and a man.

When the police arrived at the outlet mall, they identified and arrested Carie Thompson, 43, of 257 Barnes Avenue in New Haven and Michael Harvin, 47, of the same address.

In a bag, Thompson and Harvin had bottles of fragrances from the Calvin Klein store and another fragrance store, said Cpl. Pucillo.

While conducting the investigation, officers viewed surveillance video from The Fragrance Outlet.

Pucillo said that when she viewed the video, she saw a woman in a distinctive jacket committing a shoplifting offense from the store, said police. But the woman shown in the video was not Thompson, said Pucillo.

Based on the description of the woman in the red jacket observed on video, officers and members of the mall security team searched the outlet mall but were unable to locate the third individual, said police.

Later that evening as police were processing Thompson and Harvin, a bondsman arrived at CPD to bond out the original two shoplifting suspects.

Accompanying the bondsman was a female (co-signer) friend of the accused, who was immediately identified as the female observed in the video from The Fragrance Outlet earlier in the day.

"She had on the exact clothing that was seen in the video surveillance," said Pucillo.

Police then took DeMichele into custody and charged her as well.

Thompson is charged with two counts of larceny in the sixth degree and two counts of conspiracy. She posted a $1,500 bond and is scheduled to appear in Middletown Superior Court on Feb. 26.

Harvin is charged with two counts of larceny in the sixth degree and two counts of conspiracy. He posted a $1,500 bond and is scheduled to appear in Middletown Superior Court on Feb. 26.

DeMichele, 47, of 163 Hall St., New Haven is charged with one count Larceny in the sixth degree. She posted a $500 bond and is scheduled to appear in Middletown Superior Court on Feb. 26.

lynn hidek February 20, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Way to go, Tasha! Mr. Ed would be so proud.
Phil Sengle February 20, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Great job Cpl Pucillo. What a great story. People who think we don't need a strong police force should think twice. We should also be thankful that most criminals are stupid.
Yankee in the south February 20, 2013 at 08:31 PM
wow real crime stoppers!
S. Smith March 04, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Nice work Tasha!!!

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