Pair with children accused of theft

A Columbus couple face preliminary theft charges after being accused of shoplifting in a Columbus store with two small children.

Tyler J. Kolusch, 32, 3445 W. Jonathan Moore Pike, Apt. 119, and Hannah R. Burton, 26, 803 Hutchins Ave., Apt. C, were taken into custody about 4 p.m. Sunday after police received a call about shoplifters in a store in the 700 block of Whitfield Drive, said Sgt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

Store security officers told Officer Michael Pigman that two people were concealing items while shopping in the store, Harris said.

Security officers approached Kolusch and attempted to stop him, Harris said.

Kolusch fled the store and Pigman chased him to the middle of the parking lot where he was arrested, Harris said.

Kolusch faces preliminary charges of theft, resisting law enforcement and also was wanted on a Bartholomew County arrest warrant, Harris said.

Burton left the store a short time later with the children, ages 7 and 3. As she was entering her SUV in the parking lot, Sgt. Toby Combest ordered her to stop, Harris said.

Burton nearly ran over Combest’s foot as she pulled away at a high rate of speed, despite Combest reportedly slapping the side of the vehicle several times with his hand to get her to stop, Harris said.

Another police officer stopped Burton’s vehicle and arrested her, Harris said.

Officers who reviewed store security video said it showed Burton running from security officers holding the 3-year-old by the arm and the 7-year-old running in front of her.

Kolusch and Burton were taken to the Bartholomew County Jail. Kolusch is being held in lieu of $15,000 bond and Burton is being held in lieu of $7,500 bond, jail officials said.

The children were released to the custody of a relative, Harris said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.