Worthington woman arrested, banned from two stores

Justine Gardner

Justine Gardner

A Worthington woman was arrested and banned from two stores in Worthington after she allegedly tried to enter the back door of one store, tried to break into vehicles at the other and stole an employee’s cell phone.

Justine Elizabeth Gardner, 28, allegedly exhibited behavior that prompted an employee of the Dollar General store in Worthington to call 911 around 8 a.m. last Sunday, July 22. The employee said Gardner was on her way from the Dollar store to Vest’s Quik Mart and was “tweeking or on something.”

Town Marshal Randy Raney of the Worthington Police Department was dispatched along with WPD Deputy Marshal James Harrington.

Marshal Raney arrived first and found Gardner beside a pickup truck on Foster Avenue in an area behind the two stores. The officers said she appeared to be high on methamphetamine, was uncooperative and had been trying to break into vehicles in the area.

In a probable cause document prepared by Officer Harrington, he said when Raney asked her why she was trying to break into vehicles, she said, “I’m scared because I think I’m the only one around here that believes in God.”

Gardner was taken into custody and handcuffed. When Officer Harrington advised her of her Miranda rights then asked her if she would talk to them, she allegedly said she wanted to speak with God.

The officers interviewed an employee and the owner of Vest’s Quik Mart, and an employee and the assistant manager of the Dollar General store.

In these interviews, Harrington said they learned Gardner had tried to get into the Dollar General store through the rear delivery doors then had gone to Vest’s where the employee had let her use the employee’s cell phone. But Gardner allegedly walked out with the phone then attempted to break in to at least two vehicles parked in front of the convenience store. They also said she had gone into a private garage area in Vest’s building and attempted to break into another vehicle that was parked there.

The owner of Vest’s and the assistant manager of the Dollar General both said they did not want Gardner to return and the officers warned Gardner she was banned from these properties and will be arrested for trespassing if she returns.

Gardner was booked in to the Greene County Jail where her bond was set at $3,000 surety with ten percent cash allowed.

Gardner is facing charges of theft, a Class A misdemeanor, and criminal trespassing, a Class A misdemeanor.

Gardner also has another case pending against her stemming from an incident that occurred in Linton back in February. She had a court date set in August for a change of plea and sentencing hearing. In that case, she was charged with attempted robbery, a Level 5 felony, plus criminal trespassing, a Class A misdemeanor, and two counts of battery, both Class B misdemeanors.

Click here to find previous stories about the earlier incident and Justine Gardner.