Police: Shoplifting suspect pulls knife on store security

Woman, 57, has 2 prior retail theft convictions

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - A woman twice convicted of retail theft is back behind bars, accused of pulling a knife on a security officer while attempting to steal from a Boscov's store in Berks County.

A loss prevention officer attempted to stop Lynette Smith as she walked out of the Boscov's North in Muhlenberg Township on Tuesday with a shopping cart full of merchandise she didn't pay for, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Smith refused the officer's request that she return to the store and, instead, pulled a knife from her jacket pocket, telling him, "Don't touch me. I'll cut you," according to the court paperwork.

The suspect then fled toward Eisenbrown Street and through the backyards of multiple homes before she emerged onto Muhlenberg Street, where a township officer caught up with her, police said.

Smith, 57, of Reading, was arrested and booked on charges of robbery and retail theft. She was committed to the Berks County Jail on $50,000 bail. A check of her criminal history revealed a pair of previous convictions for retail theft, police said.

The stolen merchandise included multiple jackets, jewelry, boots, gloves, and a fragrance set, for a total value of $1,157.97, police said.

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