Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Kelli CAVANAUGH (Possess C, Possess E, Larceny Under)

On Tuesday, 11/13/2018, I was working my assigned 4PM to 12AM shift in the East-1 cruiser, with my partner, Ofc. Devin Schneider. The following is a summary of the incident:

At approximately 5:20PM, we responded to the area of Columbia Sportswear Outlet for a report of a past shoplifter. The shoplifter was described as a white female wearing a black jacket, a pink backpack, and brown boots. We searched the area of Columbia Sportswear and then continued on to search the Assembly Row MBTA station.

While searching the area, we observed a female matching the description, walking along the train waiting platform. We entered the train station and found the pink backpack on the floor of the train platform. We asked the three gentlemen that were standing near the backpack if it belonged to them and they all said no. We asked if they knew who the backpack belonged to and they said no. I picked up the backpack and Ofc. Schneider and I continued to search the train and the platform, for the female matching the description.

We located the female matching the description, later identified as XXXX, walking with a second female, later identified as Kelli Cavanaugh, on the train platform, towards where the backpack was. We stopped them because it wasn’t immediately apparent to us which one of them was the suspected shoplifter because they were both wearing similar brown boots. I asked XXXX if the pink backpack was hers, she said no. When I asked a second time, she said that it was hers. When I asked XXXX why she left her backpack and walked away, she said because her friend, Cavanaugh needed her Charlie Card to get into the train station, so she went up to let her in. While talking to them, Ofc. Schneider noticed Cavanaugh had a reuseable Jansport bag in her hand that was full of Columbia sweaters. The Columbia sweaters were in plain view because the bag was open. Through the combined training and experience of all the officers involved, we knew that it was common for shoplifters to use reuseable bags to conceal merchandise.

XXXX immediately admitted to shoplifting from Columbia Sportswear. She said that the only thing she stole was the black rain jacket from Columbia (see attached photo). However, while conducting a search of the pink backpack for elements of the crime, I also found a pair of black Adidas sneakers with a security tag on them. When I asked XXXX if she stole those, she initially said that she bought them off someone selling them at North Station. When Ofc. Schneider asked Cavanaugh if she stole anything from Columbia, she said no because she had plenty money to buy things. When asked for her receipt, she could not provide it.

Ofc. Schneider asked both Cavanaugh and XXXX if they stole anything else from Columbia or any other stores in the area. He told them that he was going to go back to Columbia and review the cameras. He then asked them if they had anything else that they wanted to admit to. XXXX said she stole the black Adidas sneakers from Adidas. Cavanaugh said that she did not steal anything. Ofc. Schneider continued to Columbia Sportswear to review the camera footage while Ofc. Shaun Clark and myself remained with XXXX and Cavanaugh on the train platform.

After reviewing camera footage from Columbia Sportswear, Ofc. Schneider determined that Cavanaugh stole 6 sweaters. The footage shows Cavanaugh entering the store with an empty bag, shopping around, going into the dressing room, and exiting the dressing room with a full bag. After exiting the dressing room, Cavanaugh left the store, without making a purchase at the cashier.

I placed Cavanaugh under arrest, handcuffing her with her hands behind her back. I double locked the handcuffs for her safety. I then conducted a search of Cavanaugh for weapons. Cavanaugh was then transported back to the station in the prisoner transport unit 200, operated by Ofc. Thomas Lambert. While Ofc. Lambert was transporting Cavanaugh, he reported that she was reaching into the rear of her pants, appearing to try to grab something from her rear end. Ofc. Schneider, Ofc. Clark, and I met Ofc. Lambert at Mystic Avenue. I removed Cavanaugh from the transport vehicle and asked her if she had anything else on her, to which she said no.

After I searched her again, she said that her left handcuff was too tight. Upon checking the tightness of the handcuff, I could fit two fingers in between the her wrist and the handcuff, which is the way I was trained. However, I removed the handcuff and adjusted it anyway, for her comfort. I had Ofc. Lambert hold her jacket sleeves up so that I could properly adjust the handcuff. I adjusted the handcuff to again have the ability to fit two fingers between her wrist and the handcuff. Cavanaugh stated that was better. Prior to placing her back into the transport vehicle, I asked her once again if she had anything on her or in her and she stated no.

At the station, I searched Cavanaugh again. I removed all three of her sweaters and vests (which I did not do outside). I then pulled her bra out to its farthest extension and continued around the bra. After rigorous shaking, pills began falling out of her breast area. They did not fall out all at once because they appeared to be stuck to her skin. Cavanaugh was booked by Lt. Sheehan.

The two original receipts along with the 7 pills were placed into evidence in the usual manner. The pills found were identified as the following:
– Three – 1 mg, yellow, circle Clonazepam (R 34)
– Two – 800 mg, white, elliptical, oval Gabapentins (D 25)
– One – 300 mg, yellow, capsule Gabapentin (215)
– One – 0.3mg, white, elliptical, oval Clonidine Hydrochloride
Cavanaugh stated that she had a prescription but she was unable to provide it.

Cavanaugh was charged with the following:
– Massachusetts General Law c.266 s.30: Larceny under $1200
– Massachusetts General Law c.94C s.34: Posession of a Class C drug
– Massachusetts General Law c.94C s.34: Posession of a Class E drug

A massachusetts criminal application will be filed against XXXX, for the following charge:
– Massachusetts General Law c.266 s.30: Larceny under $1200

Respectfully Submitted,
Ofc. Priscilla Ribeiro #349
Somerville Police Department

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