Accused Hannaford shoplifter arrested after giving phony name, ditching backpack

Posted Dec. 13, 2012, at 9:17 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 13, 2012, at 9:38 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A woman described as a local transient was arrested last weekend after she allegedly shoplifted while at the Hannaford Supermarket at the Airport Mall on Union Street.

Josephine Coleman Sawyer, 26, is accused of stealing vodka and soda valued at $14.50, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Wednesday, citing an arrest report by Officer Joseph Ballargeon.

Ballargeon and other Bangor police officers were called to the supermarket Sunday afternoon after loss prevention personnel reported that a female shoplifter had fled the store, Edwards said.

Police officers found a woman matching the suspect’s description near the mall but she did not have the black backpack that witnesses said the suspect was carrying, so the officers let her go.

“She talked her way out of it,” Edwards said.

After the officers found the backpack in a nearby ditch — with the initial suspect’s photo ID inside that showed a different name than the one she gave police — they went looking for her again and found her on Indiana Avenue, he said.

Coleman was arrested on charges of theft and failure to give her correct name to police after a discussion with store employees and a review of surveillance footage from the supermarket reportedly confirmed she was the suspect. She then was taken to Penobscot County Jail.