Corbin Police chase, capture shoplifters

Corbin Police responding to a shoplifting complaint at JC Penny Sunday night, found themselves in a high-speed pursuit through

Kelda Messer
Kelda Messer

downtown that came to an end after reaching the end of a dead-end road.

Thirty-two-year-old Kelda L. Messer and 27-year-old Jessica E. Mitchell are each facing multiple charges after police reportedly recovered $3,191 worth of merchandise allegedly stolen from JC Penny and Belk.

The incident began about 9:30 p.m. when Officer Ken Proffitt initiated a traffic stop on Messer’s 2013 Dodge Dart in connection with a complaint of shoplifting at Penny’s.

Proffitt stated that Messer refused to comply with his requests that she shut off the vehicle and exit it.

Jessica Mitchell
Jessica Mitchell

“Officer attempted to open the driver door but it was locked,” Proffitt stated. “As the officer was doing so, the offender started to roll up her window and hit the gas pedal taking off while officer had a hold of the door handle.”

Officers initiated the pursuit down Master Street, through downtown and south on Ky. 26.

Proffitt noted that Messer passed other vehicles in the turning lane and opposite lane, running through multiple traffic lights and stop signs.

The pursuit turned on to Eatontown Road and then to Corinth Cemetery Road.

At the end of the road, Proffitt said Messer turned into a driveway, almost striking a parked vehicle and the house.

Proffitt stated that Messer then attempted to flee from officers on foot and continued to resist as officers attempted to secure her in handcuffs.

Prewitt stated that officers found clothing scattered across the back seat and floorboard of the car. Neither Messer nor Mitchell could produce receipts for the items, which still had tags from Belk and Penny attached.

In addition, officers reported finding a plastic baggy containing a white, powdery substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, along with multiple syringes in a boot and in Messer’s purse. Another loaded syringe containing an unknown drugs was found under the driver’s seat.

Proffitt stated that Messer admitted to shooting up drugs.

Messer was charged with receiving stolen property of the value under $10,000, speeding – 26 mph or greater over the limit, first-degree fleeing or evading police in a motor vehicle, reckless driving, first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, disregarding a stop sign, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs/etc., failure to or improper signal, resisting arrest, disregarding a traffic control device – traffic light, first-degree possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, first-degree possession of a controlled substance – drug unspecified, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft by unlawful taking of the value under $500.

Mitchell was charged with receiving stolen property of the value under $10,000, first-degree possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication – controlled substance.

Messer and Mitchell are each being held without bond in the Knox County Detention Center