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No mother\’s day in court for Altoona woman

A 43-year-old Altoona woman, Loretta Shepard, was found guilty earlier this week for her role in a retail theft that also involved her teenage son.
The retail theft incident was alleged to have happened late last year at Bickel’s Surplus Store in Pinecroft, Antis Township. Details from a state police press release on the incident said a male and female entered the store on Dec. 27 and put a television and a satellite radio in a shopping cart. When they went to the checkout line, the woman engaged in a verbal argument with the employee about returning the television set since she didn’t have a receipt.
During the argument, the male, later identified as Shepard’s teenage son, pushed the cart out of the store. As he was doing so, the employee noticed the radio wasn’t paid for and was able to retrieve it. However, the teen continued to push the cart with the television set out of the store. District Attorney Richard Consiglio told The Daily Herald the television set was never recovered.
Consiglio explained the pair returned to the store in January of this year. He said an arrest was made after a store employee obtained a registration number from a vehicle Shepard was using during the January visit. Shepard was identified after appearing in a police lineup and has been in Blair County Prison since being unable to post bail.
He said Shepard was found guilty of criminal attempt of retail theft regarding the radio and conspiracy to commit retail theft regarding the television. Consiglio said a store video showed the pair entering the store without the items. He said the pair was alleged to have put the items in a cart at the one end of the store, push them to the front end of the store and engage in the conversation with the store employee about returning the item.
Consiglio confirmed Shepard was found not guilty on retail theft and receiving stolen property charges. He said her teenage son’s case was handled by juvenile authorities and the boy is at a juvenile facility.
He said a Nov. 21 sentencing date has been set and the court is looking at the possibility of whether or not Shepard qualifies for the Intermediate Punishment Program as an alternative to jail time.
Consiglio said Shepard faces six months to 2 and-a-half years in prison for her role in the crime. He said he could not answer questions about how any time served would be applied to the sentence. He indicated there may be parole issues regarding previous crimes that might come into play, but he could not confirm specifics.
Consiglio viewed the case as somewhat significant in that the defendant had, in his words, “a huge history of retail theft and other crimes.” He also explained that during her current time in jail, New York authorities became aware of her and she was transported there to testify against defendants in a drug case.