The Sheriff’s Office has arrested 50 year old KELLI STEFFENS of rural Mountain Home following an investigation into the theft of newspapers from Baxter Bulletin coin-operated newsstands that occurred at several locations. On March 31st, the Sheriff’s Office took a report that 13 newspapers had been stolen from a Baxter Bulletin box located at 2493 Highway 5 South. The paper deliveryman, who is monetarily responsible for the value of the newspapers in his possession, indicated this same kind of theft had been occurring on most Saturdays, which is the day that manufacturer coupons are included with the newspaper. On April 12th, video surveillance footage was made available from this same retail location that showed a female suspect driving up in a white passenger car, getting out and walking up to the newspaper box, depositing coins to open the box, then removing a whole stack of newspapers while having paid for only one paper.
This video was posted on the Sheriff’s Office website in hopes of obtaining public assistance in identifying this unknown woman. The Sheriff’s Office subsequently received a citizen tip of a potential suspect and was provided with a license plate number for the vehicle that may have been used. Sheriff’s Investigator Jim Mandock was able to use the information from the citizen tip to contact the owner of the vehicle, which ultimately allowed contact to be made with a suspect, identified as KELLI STEFFENS.
KELLI STEFFENS was questioned by investigators. She admitted to being the person shown on the video, and she admitted that she has been taking papers without paying for them since October, 2013 at several locations for the purpose of getting coupons. A calculation of losses from October, 2013 through May, 2014 was estimated at approximately $300. A warrant was procured from the District Court charging KELLI STEFFENS with Theft of Property – Misdemeanor.
STEFFENS turned herself in today at the Detention Center to be served with the warrant. She was booked and released on $1,200 bond pending an appearance in Baxter County District Court on June 19th to answer.
The Sheriff’s Office appreciates the public’s help in identifying this person.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff