New Castle News

July 16, 2013

Two charged with retail theft, assault

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Two people have been arrested for allegedly shoplifting, then assaulting store personnel.

New Castle police said the incident occurred around 8 p.m. Thursday at the Dollar General store at 1509 Moravia St. Charges were filed Monday.

A store employee told police that Clara Smith, 25, of 1502 S. Jefferson St., and Jason Cappabianco, 29, of 304 Nutt St., were involved in the theft of various store items. He said he had tried to detain Smith until police arrived and she bit him on the left arm.

Smith claimed the clerk had tackled her and punched her in the stomach and she is pregnant, police said.

However, a witness told officers the clerk had held out his arms and tried to stop Smith from walking away and he saw her bite him.

The store’s off-duty manager told police she had seen Smith putting items into her purse and that Cappabianco distracted the store employees by asking questions.

She said she had tried to stop Smith from leaving by grabbing her purse strap, and asked her to stop and go back inside the store.

She said Smith repeatedly punched her and bit her on the left arm.

The manager said Cappabianco also tried to punch her but did not make contact.

Police said the manager’s face was red and swollen and her arm had a bite mark.

Police said items Smith had taken included four bottles of shampoo, a bottle of lotion, a bottle of curling mousse, canine medication, three flashlights, a journal and two cans of energy drink, all of which were returned to the store.

Officers noted Smith and Cappabianco each have a prior conviction for retail theft.

Both are charged with retail theft, harassment and conspiracy to commit retail theft. Smith also is charged with simple assault.

They were issued summonses to appear for a preliminary hearing.