Repeat retail theft offender facing charges

Staff Writer

A Smethport woman is facing charges following separate incidents of retail theft at the Walmart store in Fox Township.
According to affidavits of probable cause filed at the office of Magisterial District Judge Mark S. Jacob in St. Marys on Friday, Elizabeth Mae Geelen-Szuba, 43, of 18 Szuba Lane, Smethport, is facing felony charges for incidents of retail theft that occurred at Walmart Store #1792 in Fox Township in May and June.
The first incident took place at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, May 18 when Geelen-Szuba was reportedly observed on Walmart surveillance placing several assorted retail items into a large bag and walking out of the store. The items had a total value of $316.99.
This was Geelen-Szuba’s third offense of retail theft. She was previously convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor charge of retail theft in 2014 and a second-degree charge of criminal conspiracy of retail theft in 2016.
The second incident took place at 9:56 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5 when Geelen-Szuba was reportedly observed by Walmart staff concealing retail items in a large tote. Walmart staff attempted to apprehend Geelen-Szuba after she passed the last point of sale without paying for items. However, after Geelen-Szuba knew she was being pursued, she dropped the large tote full of stolen items and reportedly fled the scene on foot wearing stolen sneakers and with a stolen pill packet in her pocket. The total value of recovered items was $231.11. The total value of the stolen items was $11.32.
The incident is Geelen-Szuba’s fourth retail theft offense.
For the May 18 incident, Geelen-Szuba is facing a third-degree felony charge of retail theft – taking merchandise. For the June 5 incident, she is facing third-degree felony charges of retail theft – taking merchandise, and criminal attempt – retail theft – taking merchandise.
A preliminary hearing for Geelen-Szuba for the charges related to both incidents is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 9 a.m. at the office of Judge Jacob.