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Police and fire


3 charged in store theft sprees

Two city men and a woman are accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of video game merchandise and fresh meat from local Walmart and Kroger stores from April 17 to May 21.

Vickie L. Grawcock, 41, Ernest A. Grawcock, 46, and Craig Mitchell Schowe, 45, were each formally charged Friday in Allen Superior Court with felony counts of corrupt business influence and theft.

In many cases, the Grawcocks, of the 1300 block of High Street, would go into a Walmart and pick out video game systems or games. Ernest Grawcock would then cut tags off the boxes or remove the merchandise from boxes, court records said.

He would then find Vickie Grawcock, who hid the goods under her coat. They sometimes pawned the games to a local video game shop, court records said.

Sometimes Schowe, of the 3400 block of McCormick Avenue, would come along and participate in the thefts. They pulled a similar scheme at Kroger stores and stole meat, court records said.

The three at times were also accompanied by another man, yet to be identified, who rode a motorized cart, court papers said.