Police: Thief targeting southern York Co. stores spurred high-speed chase

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Shawna Dee Beard

A drifter with ties to Maryland — and who's allegedly known as a thief among some southern York County convenience stores — led state police on a chase Dec. 18  in Codorus Township that reached speeds of more than 105 mph, according to police.

Shawna Dee Beard is now in York County Prison on a total of $150,000 bail for the chase, as well as for a second case in which she's accused of stealing a car in Spring Grove.

Beard, 32, of no fixed address, is charged in the chase case with fleeing or eluding police, receiving stolen property, reckless endangerment, overtaking on the left, failing to stay within traffic lanes, running a stop sign, illegal turning, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, speeding and reckless driving.

State police were called to the Rutter's Farm Store at 6040 Steltz Road about 9:50 p.m. for a suspicious person, who turned out to be Beard, charging documents state.

Troopers were given the license plate number of the 2014 Volkswagen GTI she had driven to Rutter's, and they determined the car had been reported stolen from Spring Grove three days before, documents state.

Beard had left the store before police arrived, but Trooper Scott Giraud spotted the stolen car and tried to pull it over after activating his cruiser's lights and siren, according to charging documents.

Instead of stopping, Beard  accelerated, heading north on Steltz Road and running a stop sign before continuing north on Jefferson Road, police said.

More than 105 mph: Giraud noted in charging documents that he was going 105 mph at that point, but Beard was going faster, charging documents allege.

He stopped the chase in the area of Jefferson and Wolfgang roads after losing sight of the stolen VW, police said.

Giraud learned from store workers that Rutter's corporate office had sent out a photo of Beard to area stores, warning she was "a person of interest" in thefts from area stores, charging documents allege.

The workers recognized Beard when she walked into Rutter's as being the same woman in the photo, and they called 911, according to police.

Police said Beard stole the VW three days before the chase. For the theft, she is charged with receiving stolen property, theft and driving without a license.

According to charging documents in the theft case by Southwestern Regional Police, Beard went into the Sunoco gas station store at 502 N. Main St. about 8:50 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, and stole an employee's car keys from a back room.

She then used the keys to steal the employee's VW, police said.

'Tricked' workers: Beard was able to get into the back room because she used "the right terminology to trick employees" into believing she was from Rutter's corporate office, documents state.

Police in Ocean City, Maryland, later alerted police in Pennsylvania that they had arrested Beard in the stolen VW, but she claimed she had permission to use it, charging documents state.

She was arrested, arraigned and released on her own recognizance in Maryland, police said.

It is unclear whether Beard has retained an attorney.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.