Tattoos are giveaway for Sonora shoe thief

local@modbee.comNovember 29, 2012 

— Facial tattoos gave away a shoe thief in Sonora this week, authorities say.

According to police, a man distracted a clerk at the Payless shoe store in the Crossroads shopping center while a woman stole a pair of shoes. The theft occurred Nov. 20.

Employees described the male suspect, who had tattoos on his face. An employee picked a photo of Joseph Eastman, 30, out of a photo lineup. Police described Eastman as a transient parolee.

Investigators identified the woman as Sharmayne St. Lawrence, 23, of Columbia.

On Monday, an officer spotted St. Lawrence, who has a suspended driver's license, driving on North Washington Street. When she was pulled over, she was wearing the stolen shoes, police said. She admitted to stealing them.

A passenger in her car, Juan Velasquez, 30, of Sonora, was arrested on a felony warrant for drug possession and violation of probation.

A short time later, Eastman's parole officer and a Sonora police officer found him at a home just outside Sonora and took him into custody.

All three were taken to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked on felony charges. St. Lawrence was booked on charges of burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and possession of stolen property. Eastman was booked on charges of burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and parole violation. Velasquez was booked on the outstanding warrant.

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