Crime

Woman gets 6 months for stealing

A 24-year-old woman was sentenced to just more than six months in jail for using wire cutters to steal merchandise from Macy's, then lying to police about her name.

Kayla Lee McNeely, when arrested in early April, claimed to be her twin sister, who has a similar first name, so officers wouldn't pick her up on several warrants.

But her ruse didn't go far because dispatchers, who were unable to find a record for that name, discovered that Kayla McNeely was wanted and advised police on scene.

Kennewick police responded to the Columbia Center mall after McNeely became uncooperative when detained by a Macy's loss prevention officer for shoplifting. The loss prevention officer had found clothes belonging to the department store, along with two pairs of wire cutters, in McNeely's bag, court documents said.

In an interview with Kennewick Officer Paul Reynolds, McNeely said the cutters were used to remove security tags from clothing. She also claimed that she'd gone to the store with another woman to steal and that she was supposed to distract store security while the other woman took merchandise, documents said.

McNeely initially said she was the twin sister of Kayla McNeely, who now lives out of state. She later admitted giving a false name to Reynolds because of her arrest warrants.

McNeely pleaded guilty to third-degree retail theft with extenuating circumstances, a felony, and making a false or misleading statement to a public servant, a gross misdemeanor. She was sentenced to 185 days in jail.

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