Reported strong-arm robbery was 'shoplifting gone bad'
A woman shoplifter who tangled with a store employee before fleeing in a van with her boyfriend wound up in jail Tuesday morning.
Medford police were notified of an attempted strong-arm robbery of a female Albertsons employee at the Jackson Creek Shopping Center on West Main Street at 9:19 a.m.
Two minutes later, a white Dodge van with California plates, heading east on Main Street, was stopped by Medford police Lt. Justin Ivens, who was two cars behind the Albertsons suspects when the call came in.
Erica Williams, 23, who was wanted on out-of-the-area warrants, and her boyfriend, Zane Warren, 25, who has warrants for his arrest in Washington County, were detained and booked into the Jackson County Jail.
Warren was being held on $65,000 bail on the warrants. Williams was being held on $82,500 bail on an assortment of charges, including theft and failure to appear.
The incident began when Williams allegedly rushed through the store's exit door with a shopping cart loaded with hygiene and household goods that had not been paid for. A female employee confronted Williams, and an altercation ensued.
"That's when things escalated," Ivens said. "It was shoplifting gone bad."
As the Albertsons employee tried to call police, Williams allegedly grabbed the employee's phone and tossed it across the lot before bolting in the van, leaving the goods behind.
Williams initially gave Ivens a false name, but she was later identified and found to be wanted on multiple warrants. The nearly stolen goods were later scanned and valued at $550.