Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

March 15, 2014

Purse theft at Meijer leads to felony charges

TRAVERSE CITY — A purse stolen from a Meijer shopping cart could spell trouble in the form of felonies for a trio of suspects.

Cole Jeffery Rancour, 23, of Traverse City, and Aydryiona Rae Winstone, 22, of Kingsley, face warrants after Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies linked them to a Dec. 31 theft at the store.

A third suspect, Ashley Ann Day, 21, appeared by video in 86th District Court on Wednesday for arraignment on multiple felonies, including larceny and forgery.

Day also is charged in an attempted robbery stabbing on Northwestern Michigan College’s campus in January. Court documents in the Meijer larceny case state Day, while jailed on an unrelated charge, told investigators she distracted a woman in the store with questions about soap while two suspects pushed a cart past.

“When (the victim) turned around, she found that her purse had been taken from her shopping cart,” the documents state.

The purse contained the woman’s checkbook. The documents state a woman forged and attempted to cash a $475 check at an Honor Bank drive-thru, but a sharp-eyed employee told her she could not cash a stolen check.

“The female replied, ‘OK,” and then drove away,” the documents state.

A suspect did manage to pass three checks belonging to the victim at a Marathon gas station on Munson Avenue. Investigators identified Rancour in Meijer surveillance footage, which did not show the theft, according to court documents.

Rancour faces larceny and two conspiracy to commit larceny charges. Grand Traverse County prosecutors authorized six felony charges against Winstone, including forgery, which carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.

Day is scheduled for a preliminary examination on March 26.

Staff writer Sarah Elms contributed to this report.

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