An Ocala woman arrested twice last year for retail theft is back behind bars after she allegedly tried to walk out of Wal-Mart with nearly $600 worth of stolen merchandise in a plastic storage container and drugs in her purse.
Amber Leigh Conway, 31, of 8941 SE 88th Lane, was charged Wednesday with retail petit theft (second or subsequent offense), possession of heroin, possession of fentanyl, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Conway was charged in May 2019 with stealing children’s clothes from a Bealls department store, and she was released from jail March 9 after serving more than five months for yet another theft.
A security employee at the store, located at 4980 State Road 40, told an Ocala Police officer that she saw Conway walk around the store, select numerous items of clothing from several different departments and place them in her cart. She said Conway retrieved a storage container and placed the clothing items inside it, according to the police report.
The employee said Conway then obtained food and proceeded to the self-checkout line, where she only paid for the container itself, food items, a Pepsi and a Tumbler cup. The employee said Conway headed to the exit, passing all points of sale without paying for the items inside the container. The total value of the items was $589.24, the report said.
Asked for safety purposes if she had any weapons, needles or anything that could poke or stick the officer, Conway she had a needle in a black sock inside her purse. She declined to speak with the officer about the incident and was taken to the Marion County Jail, where she’s being held on $6,000 bond and awaits an April 7 appearance in Marion County Court.