Man arrested for drugs after shoplifting call

Columbus police were sent to 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 outside the mall with William E. Smith, 34, who said he was homeless. 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.

Smith is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of $137,500 bond, jail officials said.

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