BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX/Gray News) - Police believe a woman stole more than $1,000 worth of merchandise from a business and then tried to use her unsuspecting Uber driver as a getaway.
Jalina Lang is now in the Butler County Jail facing charges of theft and possessing criminal tools. Court records show she has a criminal history, including previous theft charges. (Source: Butler County Jail/WXIX/Gray News)
Police records show that the Uber driver was Elizabeth Mahan. Mahan said she has had some interesting trips as an Uber driver, but Tuesday’s ride takes the cake.
That night, Mahan said she agreed to pick up a customer named Shane at the Bridgewater Falls shopping complex in Fairfield Township. However, “Shane” never showed up.
“It’s very scary picking up strange people," Mahan said. "You never know what you’re getting into.”
Instead, Mahan’s passenger was a woman who police have identified as Jalina Lang.
“She [Lang] had her bags in between two cars. She was sweating and acting really weird to begin with. She gets out, grabs the bags. She’s like ‘cCan I put them in your trunk?'" Mahan said. "‘No, you can put them in the back with you.’”
Although Mahan was slightly suspicious of Lang, she said she gave Lang the benefit of the doubt and let her get into the backseat of her car with her six or seven shopping bags.
Then, Mahan said, two cars came up behind them.
“A dark vehicle with tinted windows pulls up, and a Fairfield Township police officer pulls up behind him, and she’s [Lang’s] like, 'Go go go go!'” Mahan said.
According to Mahan, at that point, Lang told her that a man had been following her and she needed to getaway. Mahan said Lang urged her to drive off, and she did, but they did not make it far before police caught up with them.
“I was getting ready to get my phone out of the holster to text 911 like ‘Hey, this lady’s weird. Pull me over,'" Mahan said. "I didn’t have a chance. Officer got right behind me.”
It turns out that Fairfield Township Police believe that Lang stole more than $1,700 in merchandise from JCPenney, including the shoes she was wearing on Tuesday.
Police arrested Lang on the spot.
“So here I am, assuming she just went shopping. ... She went shopping, all right. Five-finger discount," Mahan said.
Mahan said she is glad that police knew she was not an accomplice.
“Never did I think I was going to be a getaway car," Mahan said.
Lang is now in the Butler County Jail facing charges of theft and possessing criminal tools. Court records show she has a criminal history, including previous theft charges.
Mahan said her advice for other Uber drivers is simple: Be careful.
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