Leisurely shopping trip ends in grand theft charges

Two Riverdale residents took a trip to Visalia last weekend, but their accommodations didn’t end up being what they anticipated.

Julio Grimaldo and Ashley Brook Newton, both of 21718 S. Hayes in Riverdale spent part of the weekend in jail after they were arrested on charges of grand theft. Grimaldo was also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon.

The duo were browsing at the Visalia JC Penney when the store’s loss prevention personnel saw Newton pick up a Dockers jacket valued at $450, according to Visalia Police Sgt. Steve Phillips. Newton was seen on the security camera with the jacket draped over her arm as she walked from department to department.

At one point she slipped the jacket off of the hanger, but the two stayed in the store, looking at the merchandise and wandering through the sections of the store.

When they had seen their fill, the pair made their way to the exit where they were stopped, according to Sgt. Phillips.

The Visalia Police found that Grimaldo had a switchblade knife, and the two were arrested and booked into Tulare County Jail.

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