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Shoplift Case, Then An Overnight Pursuit Under Investigation

A shoplifting case on Wednesday and a pursuit early Thursday are connected to each other, according to Lincoln Police.

Officer Luke Bonkiewicz says officers were called shortly after 3pm Wednesday to the Shopko near 27th and Pine Lake Road, about a woman who was pushing a shopping cart, while a man was waiting in a car by the entrance.

When police showed up, the man in the car took off while the woman inside the store abandoned her cart.  She was later confronted by officers inside the store, who then found clothing items in a backpack with the security tags cut off of them.  Officer Bonkiewicz says the woman, 36-year-old Marilynn Parker, later admitted to the shoplift of the backpack and clothes.  Parker had prior theft convictions and was taken to jail.

Parker was released from jail early Thursday morning, after bail was posted.

Then shortly after 1:30am Thursday, police saw a car driving near 64th and Platte that failed to use a turn signal twice.  Officers tried to make a traffic stop, but the car took off.  Bonkiewicz says officers stopped the pursuit near 70th and Fremont.

A short time later, another officer saw the car, which then made a westbound turn off of 70th on to Huntington Avenue.  Realizing it was a dead end, the car then reversed out of the neighborhood, but got stuck in the snow.

The driver, later identified as 36-year-old Joseph Burns, got out and ran off.  Officer Bonkiewicz says a K-9 track was used to find Burns hiding in a yard off of 68th and Walker Avenue, directly south of Mickle Middle School.  Meanwhile, back where the car was stuck in the snow, officers found Parker in the passenger seat.  Also in plain sight were drug paraphernalia and controlled substances, including 26 grams of marijuana and baggies of suspected meth residue.

Burns was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest, willful reckless driving and trespassing.   Parker has not been arrested in relation to the pursuit.

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