By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
What started out as a shoplifting investigation turned into a felony drug arrest when Atmore police discovered several hypodermic needles that contained varying amounts of methamphetamine.
The incident began around 1:10 p.m. on July 28, when Atmore Police officers were dispatched to Walmart in response to a report of two females shoplifting.
Before officers could get to the store, the suspects ran from the parking lot toward the adjacent strip mall that includes Little Caesars. Reports show that several citizens flagged officers down and told them the two females jumped into a blue four-door vehicle with Florida plates and headed south.
Police searched the area and contacted loss prevention personnel at Walmart, who informed them the suspects left the items they were accused of stealing in a shopping cart as they ran from the scene.
Walmart officials identified one of the suspects as 38-year-old Shana Killam of Century, Fla., who had been trespassed from Walmart as a result of a prior theft.
A vehicle fitting the description given by witness was spotted a few minutes later at the Diamond Foods store on U.S. 31. When the APD unit pulled up next to the vehicle, the officer noticed a female slumped over in the back seat, apparently trying to hide from him.
The vehicle’s driver, later identified as Haden Howard, 27, also of Century, reportedly granted consent to search the vehicle, and a syringe containing a clear liquid that field-tested positive for methamphetamine was found. Police also discovered several uncapped hypodermic needles, each of which contained a clear liquid that also field-tested positive for methamphetamine.
But that’s not all.
Police also discovered several plastic baggies, each of which contained a clear substance that also field-tested positive for meth, along with a glass pipe that contained meth residue, a small amount of marijuana and several loose Suboxone pills.
Killam was processed into the Escambia County Detention Center on one count each of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Howard was charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance, second-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The other female, a 17-year-old from Flomaton, was not charged with a crime but was trespassed from Walmart by loss prevention officials.