Thanks to an anonymous tip — and to this day Carlisle Police Detective Thomas Dolan still doesn’t know who made the call — police recently solved a string of retail thefts in the Midstate.
“That one simple anonymous tip, and the investigation we did led to solving a whole bunch of retail thefts throughout central Pennsylvania,” Dolan said. “It’s going to be thousands of dollars. ... We’re probably talking easily over $10,000 in retail products.”
Around 3 a.m. on Nov. 23 Carlisle Police said Ashley Karpovich, 30, of Minersville, and John Daniel Butz, 38, of Lancaster, walked into Walmart in the first block of Nobel Boulevard in Carlisle and walked out with more than $1,000 worth of electronics, clothing and merchandise.
That could have been the end of the story. But a customer in Walmart saw what they considered suspicious activity and alerted loss-prevention workers at the store.
On Aug. 6, 2014, Walmart opened its doors in Lower Allen Township, the newest location in Cumberland County. Within a day of opening, Lower Al…
Through an investigation, Dolan said police identified the vehicle in which the thieves traveled and tied it back to Karpovich. Karpovich and Butz are now charged with felony retail theft.
Karpovich was arrested in another county, so Dolan and Cpl. Timothy Groller traveled to interview her.
“She basically said she had a heroin addiction,” Dolan said. “She was participating in retail thefts all throughout central Pennsylvania. ... She was forthcoming with a lot of information.”
Dolan said he believed Karpovich and Butz are connected to retail thefts in York, Dauphin, Berks, Cumberland and Schuylkill counties.
More than $5,000 worth of products were stolen from a Walmart in Swatara Township, Dolan said.
“Without [the anonymous] information, this probably would have been either very difficult to solve or it would have taken much longer to solve, and they would have continued on their crime spree,” he said. “That tip led to the identification, which led to everything else.”
Karpovich is in Cumberland County Prison in lieu of $20,000 bail while she awaits trial. An arrest warrant has been issued for Butz who is being held in Schuylkill County Prison.
Witnesses to crimes can leave anonymous tips with Carlisle Police by calling the station at 717-243-5252 or through the borough’s CrimeWatch page at cumberland.crimewatchpa.com/carlislepd.
Email Joshua Vaughn at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Sentinel_Vaughn.