Friday, December 20, 2013

University Heights, IA, City Councilor Accused of Shoplifting // Updated 12/20/13: Rosanne Hopson Guilty of 5th-Degree Theft

(Originally written on 10/11/13): University Heights, IA, is this tiny little town smooshed within the city of Iowa City. Its population is about the size of my hometown (about 1,000), but with no scenic country view. It has a reputation for being a speed trap. Otherwise, it's mostly residential.

I was listening to KCJJ radio yesterday morning when I first heard police reports that 55-year-old Rosanne Colosimo Hopson, a member of the University Heights City Council, was arrested and charged with 5th Degree Theft Wednesday evening. According to news reports, Hopson was shopping at the Waterfront Hy-Vee grocery store when loss prevention officers noticed her eating dried fruit from a bag. They report that she put the bag in her purse when she was done and failed to pay for the fruit with the rest of her grocery.

The value of the bag of dried fruit is $0.49.

Hopson claims that the empty bag of fruit, which she admitted to sampling from, must have accidentally fallen into her purse. If convicted of this charge, Hopson faces up to 30 days in jail.

KCJJ reported online that sources within Hy-Vee suspects Hopson of similar thefts in the past and had been trying to catch her for a while.

Hopson is currently up for re-election and has been serving on the University Heights City Council since 2011.

Updated on 12/20/13: Rosanne Hopson finally had her day in court -- and she was found guilty of fifth-degree theft for stealing a $0.49 bag of dried fruit:
Police say Hopson attempted to leave Waterfront Hy-Vee with a 49-cent bag of dried fruit in her purse.

Hy-Vee loss prevention officers told police that Hopson took a bag of dried fruit from the store’s bulk section and snacked on it while she shopped. Hopson paid for the other items in her shopping cart but not the bag of fruit, which was found under a napkin in her purse, according to police.

During the bench trial, Hopson said the alleged theft was an accident and she never intended to steal the dried fruit.
KCJJ Radio reports that Hy-Vee loss prevention officials had suspected Hopson of similar thefts in the past and had been trying to catch her in the act.

Hopson will undergo a sentencing hearing on 01/24/13.

Hopson was elected to the University Heights City Council in 2011. She lost her re-election bid last month. She will remain in office until the end of 2013.

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