A woman who flagged down a Frazer police officer to report that she was ditched by the man she was with at a shopping center faces felony charges after, authorities say, she had conspired with the man to steal alcohol from a state liquor store.
Jade Marie Martin, 38, of East 13th Avenue in Homestead was charged with felony counts of receiving stolen property and retail theft along with a count of criminal conspiracy.
Juine Priest Santiago, 48, who told police he is homeless, was charged with felony counts of receiving stolen property, retail theft and criminal conspiracy along with a count of prohibited acts.
An officer wrote in the criminal complaints filed against both suspects that he was patrolling Monday at the Pittsburgh Mills shopping complex when Martin approached his cruiser and began telling him that a man left her behind in the shopping center, according to the complaint.
But as she was speaking to the officer, an employee of the state liquor store came outside and told him that Martin and Santiago came into the store and stole $309 worth of alcohol, the complaint said.
The employee said Santiago had left the store with the alcohol while Martin stayed behind to pay.
She told police that after Martin’s credit card was declined, she walked out and stopped the patrol officer, the complaint said.
Martin told police that the man she was with was named John Smith and that he drove off in a vehicle with a custom, teal paint job, the complaint said.
But police said Martin alerted them to Santiago when she spotted him driving her car — a silver sedan — that was found in the parking lot of the nearby Sonic fast-food restaurant, according to the complaint.
A shopping cart from the liquor store was sitting next to the vehicle, the complaint said.
Police said Santiago was trying to hide by reclining in the passenger seat but was taken into custody.
Martin gave them permission to search her car, where they found the stolen alcohol in the trunk, according to the complaint. The alcohol was returned to the store, police said.
Investigators said Martin has nine prior arrests for retail theft and is on probation. Santiago has five prior arrests for retail theft, police said.
Martin was released from custody on a nonmonetary bond and faces a preliminary hearing before District Judge David Sosovicka on June 6, according to court records.
Santiago was being detained in the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh after failing to post 10% of a $1,000 bail set at his arraignment, according to court records. His hearing before Sosovicka is scheduled for June 6.