West had made away with some bread, meat, pasta and sauce, and a few salad items to the value of about $34. While it was hardly the crime of the century, nevertheless, the law is the law. The case was assigned to Hillsborough officers, Senior Corporal Keith Bradshaw and Officer First-Class Candace Spragins. Thanks to the Food Lion manager’s quick thinking, they had the license number of the shoplifters car. So it was easy work for Bradshaw and Spragins to use this to access the owner’s driving license details. This 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 had their woman.
Bradshaw and Spragins drove the short distance to West’s house in the southeast of Hillsborough. They didn’t put the siren on but, nonetheless, West knew they were coming. She watched the officers 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 lived just off Route 70 with her nine-year-old boy and 19-year-old daughter. In addition, the mom had two other 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 was unable to work due to rheumatoid arthritis and brain damage following a head injury sustained in a car crash.