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Couple accused of teaming to steal

By Kevin McKinnon, 08/3/12 7:23 AM

Sharlotte Manyell Carrigan and Benjamin Jaye Newton

A Hope man and woman have been accused of acting as a team to distract people in their homes while stealing from them.

Sharlotte Manyell Carrigan, 27, and Benjamin Jaye Newton, 19, were arrested Wednesday, August 1 and charged with Residential Burglary and Theft of Property.

Hempstead County Deputy Josh Powell had investigated a reported burglary at 4423 Hempstead 21 where the couple had allegedly come to the residence to ask about Mary Kay products sold there. Powell was told by the resident that the couple came to the door where the woman introduced herself as Charlotte Muldrow. She said the pair followed her, barging into a bedroom where she keeps her product stored.

The victim says they returned to her living room where “Muldrow” kept her attention as the man went back and forth from the living room to the bedroom. When the victim became suspicious of the couple’s action they left her home saying they needed to go to the bank to get enough money to purchase some product from her only having $10 in cash on them.

When they left the victim noticed that items had been stolen from her purse and called the sheriff’s office to report it. She said the couple had headed toward Highway 278 South in a orange/red 2002 Cadillac. She described them as a black female and a tall, slender, black male.

Investigator Gary Dorman located the vehicle at a residence on Highway 29 South. Dorman recovered cash from the vechicle believed taken from the victim on Hempstead 21.

Carrigan and Newton were taken to the Hempstead County Detention Center to await a first court appearance.

Sheriff James Singleton warns that the method of operation where one person keeps a homeowner occupied while the other moves about the home or business looking for valuables is becoming a problem in Hempstead County. He says deputies believe Carrigan and Newton were in the process of pulling off another theft of this type when they were arrested.

“I would like to caution citizens who run a business from their home to be careful who and how many people at a time you let into your home,” says Sheriff Singleton

“Business owners, be mindful if one person or a group of people comes into your place of business and tries to keep you distracted while others mingle about.”

The sheriff asks that suspicious activity be reported to local law enforcement.