Shoplifting investigation leads to multiple arrests

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office arrested three people Sunday after investigating a shoplifting report.

At about 6 p.m. Sunday, a woman was reported shoplifting at a Bealls in Cobblestone Village.

According to a SJCSO press release, 32-year-old Nicole Rae Smith was seen selecting merchandise in the store and entering a dressing room. Smith was seen leaving the dressing room without merchandise and with a heavier looking purse.

Smith was detained after exiting the store and the SJCSO was called. Smith is charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and retail theft.

The release says witnesses saw Smith attempting to get into a vehicle occupied by a woman and two men.

During the investigation, deputies allegedly found evidence of a methamphetamine lab, drug paraphernalia and counterfeit money in the vehicle.

David Scott Retalic, 35, was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Retalic also is charged with an outstanding warrant from Putnam County for failure to appear on a retail theft charge.

The other man in the vehicle was identified by SJCSO as Jerome Reginald Bowen, 54. Bowen is charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

The unidentified woman in the vehicle was questioned and released by SJCSO deputies.

All three suspects are held at the St. Johns County Jail on bonds ranging from $500-$10,500.

The U.S. Secret Service is continuing the investigation into the alleged counterfeit money that was seized during the investigation, the release details.


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