West had allegedly made away with some bread, meat, pasta and sauce and a few salad items to the collective value of about $34. And while it was hardly the crime of the century, nevertheless, the law is the law. The case was therefore assigned to Hillsborough officers Senior Corporal Keith Bradshaw and Officer First-Class Candace Spragins – though the investigation didn’t demand much in the way of work. Thanks to the Food Lion manager’s quick thinking, they had the license number of the alleged shoplifter’s car. So it was easy work for Bradshaw and Spragins to use this to access the owner’s driving license details. This in turn displayed West’s photo, and the officers were able to compare it to the image of the shoplifter caught on the Food Lion’s security cameras. The cops apparently had their woman.
Bradshaw and Spragins hence drove the short distance to West’s house in the southeast of Hillsborough. And while the officers didn’t put on their siren, West nonetheless knew they were coming. In fact, she watched the pair driving down the street in their patrol car. Later, West admitted, “I was so scared. So, scared. I thought I was going to jail. When you get desperate, you get desperate… I panicked.”
West lives just off Route 70 with her nine-year-old boy and 19-year-old daughter. Moreover, at the time, the mom had a couple of extra mouths to feed, having given temporary accommodation to two of her daughter’s friends. West told The Herald-Sun, “I take in wayward kids… but, now I’m disabled.” She explained that she is unable to work owing to rheumatoid arthritis and brain damage, the latter following a head injury sustained in a car crash.