crime tape and magnifying glass

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a 55-year-old Crystal City woman for allegedly stealing from her former employer’s Barnhart business after a neighboring business owner confronted her and shot at her. The woman was not struck by the shots, and the 43-year-old Hillsboro man who fired the shots is facing charges for unlawful use of a weapon, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office reported.

At about 3:30 a.m. Feb. 6, a deputy spotted a 2001 Honda Accord parked near Robbie’s Catering, 7028 Hwy. 61-67, in Barnhart. Because the businesses in the area were closed at that time, the deputy investigated why the car was there, the report said.

The deputy did not find anyone in the area, and there appeared to be no activity inside the buildings. The deputy returned to his cruiser and drove to the other side of the street from the businesses to keep an eye on the car, according to the report.

Then, the deputy saw a woman hurry to the Accord, quickly back away from the business and start to drive away at a high rate of speed. The deputy stopped the woman and she told him a man had shot a gun at her after a confrontation, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

The deputy learned the woman had been employed by the catering company and allegedly got into the building and stole food and kitchen items. There were no signs of forced entry into the business, and it suspected she had a key to the building, the report said.

The deputy spoke to the owner of the nearby business who had confronted the woman, and he told the deputy there had been some recent thefts in the area, so he confronted the woman. The business owner also said he told the woman to stop, and when she didn’t, he shot at her twice. The bullets missed the woman and hit a nearby dumpster, according to the report.

The woman was arrested and taken to the Jefferson County Jail, where she was booked and released pending application for warrants. The Sheriff’s Office will seek a burglary charge against her through the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, spokesman Grant Bissell said.

The business owner’s gun was seized, and he was released at the scene. The Sheriff’s Office will seek a charge against him through the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for unlawful use of a weapon because Missouri law does not allow the use of deadly force unless someone’s life is being threatened, Bissell said.