Newport Police charged a 33-year-old Newport woman with larceny and vandalism on Monday after she allegedly swiped an HTC DNA cell phone when a customer of Rex Liquors set it on the counter while paying.
Police said Oneka Michelle Ardrey, 33, of 50 Park Holm, was behind another woman in line at the cash register when the customer put her phone on the counter as she paid.
Ardrey reportedly was recorded on surveillance video and it showed her put her purse on top of the phone when the woman wasn’t paying attention. The customer finished paying and walked away. Ardrey then quickly transferred the phone into her own purse, then her pocket, and walked out.
Officers were able to quickly identify her after watching the video and soon went to her apartment. She wasn’t there, so they went to Fall River Pawn Brokers, who said she was there earlier to pawn a Nintendo DS, but didn’t pawn a phone.
They later did catch up with her at her apartment and she eventually admitted to police that she took it, according to a police report.
Ardrey reportedly told police she took it by accident and when she realized it wasn’t hers, she waited to see if anyone called it. When nobody did, she decided to keep it.
The phone ended up at a friend’s apartment with a dead battery. Police recovered the phone and said it showed signs of damage because someone tried to pry off the battery cover off.
A protective cover valued at $34 was missing.