Shoplifting call leads to arrest

Columbus police were called to the FairOaks Mall on a shoplifting call and arrested a local man on drug-related charges.

At 6:45 p.m. Friday, Columbus police Sgt. Ben Goodin was sent to the 2200 block of 25th Street about a shoplifter, said Officer Alyson Rech, Columbus Police Department spokeswoman.

Goodin spoke with William E. Smith, 34, who said he was homeless, outside the mall. Mall security and a store employee said they saw Smith place a pair of shoes inside his backpack and leave a store without paying for them, Rech said.

During their investigation, officers found several items on Smith that had been stolen from several mall stores, Rech said. Police also found a syringe, methamphetamine and a glass smoking pipe in his backpack, Rech said.

Smith was arrested on charges of theft, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a drug injection device and possession of a legend drug smoking device, jail officials said.

For more on this story, see Tuesday’s Republic.