A Hastings woman convicted of theft was sentenced to a prison term on recently in Platte County District Court.
Carmen Gil-Lopez, 50, was sentenced to 210 days of incarceration after pleading no contest and being found guilty of theft by shoplifting third offense, a Class IV felony. Under state law, the defendant faced a maximum of two years in prison. A second charge of being in possession of a controlled substance was dismissed.
In September 2018, an officer with the Columbus Police Department was dispatched to a business located in the 100 block of East 24th Street in regard to a possible shoplifting incident. Dispatch informed the officer that two Hispanic suspects, one male and one female, had just shoplifted from The Buckle, court records show.
The duo fled from the store and left a parking lot westbound abruptly in a red Chrysler Town and Country bearing 14 County license plates.
Traveling eastbound in the 3200 block of East 23rd Street, court records show the responding officer noticed the described vehicle and passengers traveling westbound on 23rd Street. A traffic stop subsequently happened in the Super Saver parking lot.
The officer, court records show, inquired about whether the duo had been shopping at The Buckle. The driver, a Hispanic male, acknowledged that they had, but denied any unlawful action taking place. The driver reportedly told the officer that he could search the vehicle.
During this time, the passenger of the vehicle was identified as the defendant. Court records show that while speaking with the suspects, the officer detected a strong odor of perfume emanating from the vehicle.
A phone call with a Buckle employee determined that perfume was likely an item that was taken from the store. Court records show that Gil-Lopez consented to a search of her purse and that officers located a bottle of Fiori Vince Camuto perfume with an attached ‘tester’ label. Soon after, a bottle of Juicy Couture perfume – also with a ‘tester’ label – was located in the front passenger door compartment.
During the search, methamphetamine was also found.
In other district court news:
*Alejandro Alonso, 24, of Columbus, pleaded not guilty to committing child abuse intentional/no injury, a Class IIIA felony. The defendant is scheduled for a June 11 status hearing followed by a June 17 jury trial.
*Brian Blattner, 38, of Monroe, pleaded not guilty to theft by receiving stolen property in the amount of $5,000+, a Class II felony; two counts of criminal mischief in the amount of $5,000+, Class IV felonies; and being in possession of a controlled substance, also a Class IV felony. The defendant is scheduled for a June 17 jury trial.
*Elizabeth Gutierrez, 31, of Columbus, pleaded not guilty to two counts of delivering/manufacturing/dispensing/or being in possession of an exceptionally hazardous substance, a Class II felony. The defendant is scheduled for a June 17 jury trial.
*Matthew J. Peach, 38, of Omaha, pleaded not guilty to violating the Nebraska Sex Offender Registry Act. The defendant is scheduled for a June 17 jury trial.
*Rosendo Contreras, 35, of Columbus, pleaded not guilty to first-degree sexual assault, a Class II felony. The defendant is scheduled for a June 17 jury trial.
*Brandon Salyers, 35, of Columbus, pleaded not guilty to being in possession of a controlled substance, failure to appear when out on bail and theft by receiving stolen property in the amount of $1,500-$4,999. The defendant is scheduled for a June 17 jury trial.
Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.