Akron woman arrested after hiding behind Brimfield police car for cellphone theft

By Dave O'Brien | staff writer Published:

Brimfield police said one Akron woman may need a refresher course in the concept of "hide and seek" after allegedly stealing a cellphone from an employee of a Brimfield business, running out the door and hiding behind a car.

Unfortunately for the woman, that car was a marked Brimfield police cruiser containing a Brimfield police sergeant and his K-9 partner.

Gemma A. Matthews, 28, of Akron, pleaded not guilty to theft, a first-degree misdemeanor, in Portage County Municipal Court in Kent on Friday. She is free on a personal recognizance bond pending future court dates, according to court records.

According to Brimfield police, Sgt. Christopher Adkins was working a security detail in the parking lot of JR's Goldmine, a skill games parlor at 3958 S.R. 43, on Jan. 26 when he saw a woman ran out of the business and attempt to hide next to his marked police cruiser, which also contained his K-9 partner, Joker.

Adkins requested another officer respond, and Sgt. Matthew McCarty arrived on the scene.

There, according to his report, he found Adkins speaking to Matthews. The owner of the cellphone, a 58-year-old Suffield woman employed at the business, told officers she had put her cellphone on a counter, walked away, and returned to find it was gone.

A customer told the employee another woman dressed in red had taken the cellphone.

When the employee confronted Matthews, she denied stealing the phone "then ran out the door" into the parking lot, according to McCarty's report.

Once outside, Matthews allegedly hid until Adkins approached her. After speaking with him, Matthews reached underneath a nearby vehicle, retrieved the cellphone and gave it to Adkins, according to McCarty's report.

Matthews was arrested and taken to the Brimfield police station for booking. During the booking process, McCarty searched Matthews' purse and found two pills he suspected were the prescription painkiller Percocet. Matthews told McCarty she did not have a prescription for the drug, and the pills were sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for testing, according to McCarty's report. Additional charges may be filed depending on the results of the tests.

Matthews was released into her boyfriend's custody, according to the police report.

Follow Dave O'Brien on Twitter at @RCCrimeWatch

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

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