An Altoona woman with 10 retail theft-related convictions in as many years is behind bars on charges she stole hundreds of dollars in merchandise from two Allegheny Township stores.
Christina Marie Schleich, 34, of 823 Rosehill Drive was arrested Tuesday outside T.J. Maxx in Plank Road Commons shopping center after police were called by the store to report an alleged retail theft in progress. Police, armed with a description of Schleich and her car, located her parked nearby, outside the adjacent Pier One Imports, according to police.
The driver of the car in which Schleich was riding allowed police to search the vehicle, and although Schleich denied she took anything, police said they could see a pair of blue-handled cutters sticking out of her bag. Store employees had told police they saw Schleich use a pair of blue-handled cutters to remove security tags from several pairs of shoes, police note in Schleich's arrest papers.
Another employee told police Schleich removed a bar code from a pair of sunglasses, sunglasses police said were on Schleich's head when they took her into custody. In the car, police claim to have found two cans of hair care products taken from T.J. Maxx and merchandise from Pier One Imports.
In all, Schleich is accused of taking $132.62 worth of goods from Pier One Imports and $256.92 worth of merchandise from T.J. Maxx. Schleich allegedly damaged a $149.99 purse at T.J. Maxx when she tried to cut a security tag off the bag, police said.
Schleich, who is awaiting trial on a separate retail theft case in Blair County, is charged with felony retail theft, receiving stolen property and escape.
Schleich allegedly slipped out of her handcuffs and opened the back of an Allegheny Township police cruiser by reaching out the back window while an officer was inside T.J. Maxx investigating, police said. Another officer immediately took her back into custody, court records show.
Schleich's bail was set at $10,000 cash and was committed to Blair County Prison. She is slated to appear Thursday before Magisterial District Judge Steven D. Jackson.