Hysterical Ocala woman admits taking shoes and clothes for friend’s kids

Melody Williams Hinchee

A 56-year-old woman was arrested last week at an Ocala department store after being accused of stealing shoes and children’s clothing.

Marion County sheriff’s deputies were called to the Bealls store at 9598 SW 114th Street on Wednesday afternoon and when they arrived, Melody Williams Hinchee, of Ocala, was being detained by a store employee. He told deputies he had watched Hinchee on video surveillance as she removed her shoes and replaced them with new ones before walking out of the store with a bag of children’s clothes she also didn’t pay for, a sheriff’s office report states.

The employee said he had confronted Hinchee at the front of the store. He said he had to detain her because she had attempted to flee with the merchandise, valued at $344.49, the report says.

Hinchee, who was visibly upset, admitted to stealing the items. She said the shoes in a box inside a bag on the ground were her old ones and she was wearing the new pair. She also claimed she took the children’s clothing for a friend who was in need, the report says.

Hinchee, who lives in the 8100 block of SW 109th Place in Ocala, was taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail, where she was charged with petit theft (third or subsequent offense). She was released Thursday morning on $2,000 bond and her next court date hasn’t yet been set.