Police: Would-be shoplifter punches Boscov's worker, gets robbery charge

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
Leasia Shabree Morris

A York City woman turned a $44 shoplifting offense into a felony robbery charge when she punched an intervening store employee in the face, police allege.

Leasia Shabree Morris, 23, went to Boscov's at the York Galleria mall in Springettsbury Township Dec. 15 with another York City woman, according to charging documents filed by Springettsbury Township Police.

A store employee told township Officer Craig Helm she saw the two women walking around the store shortly before 8 p.m. and recognized them from "previous retail theft incidents," documents state.

The employee reported that Morris was carrying what appeared to be an empty bag from another retail store, Rue21, and that the women went into a fitting room carrying the empty bag and several items of Boscov's clothing.

When the women came out of the fitting room, they were no longer holding the clothing, but the Rue21 bag appeared to be full, documents state. Investigators later determined the bag held $43.47 worth of Boscov's clothing, police said.

When the women left the store without paying, the female employee stopped them in the parking lot and asked them to come back inside to "deal with the stolen merchandise," according to police.

Punched in face: That's when Morris punched the employee twice in the face, charging documents allege.

Morris then dropped the bag of clothing and her cellphone on the ground, and she and her friend jumped into a Mercury Sable and fled toward Mount Zion Road, police said.

When Morris allegedly assaulted the store employee, she turned what would have been a misdemeanor retail-theft arrest into a felony robbery charge, documents indicate.

Helm noted in charging documents that he was able to confirm Morris and her friend also were suspects in a shoplifting from a Target store in November involving the same Mercury Sable.

Police filed charges against Morris Dec. 20. She has not yet been arraigned or had bail set in the case, court records state.

Springettsbury Township Police have so far not filed shoplifting charges against Morris' friend, according to court records.