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Allegations of stolen planter lands floral shop worker in jail - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Allegations of stolen planter lands floral shop worker in jail

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

Cathy Zahn checked her email late Monday night only to find her business, Flower Power, was suddenly at the center of a viral Facebook post.

"It this awful thing on Facebook about how my shop was nothing but crooks and we stole stuff and we put it for sale in my store," Zahn says of the post which has more than 200 likes and 800 shares 24 hours after publication.

"This company went to my deceased grandmother's house and stole very expensive items from her front yard last Thursday," Angie Melton writes in the post. "As a neighbor witnessed the van back into her driveway, two women got out and stole at least two items from my late grandmothers yard. Not only did the witness get the description of the van, license plate tags and description of these crooks (women) a police report was filed.

Melton says her child went to Flower Power Monday night to look for the missing planter. When she did, her daughter found it on the sales floor, just feet from the front door.

"My stomach dropped," says Nicole Gouthiere, Melton's daughter. "I was shocked. I didn't expect that at all walking in there."

Gouthiere says she kept her composure as she asked about the planter, but workers say she called them thieves almost immediately. The situation escalated quickly and both sides report calling police about the altercation.

When a black Dodge Charger pulled up to the Youree Dr. business Tuesday, Flower Power employees expected round two. What they got was a police investigation.

Flower Power employees say eight Shreveport Police officers came to the store. They took the frog-shaped planter into evidence, read Miranda rights to all six employees, cuffed the manager and eventually arrested Bridget Vasko, 45, a part-time employee who'd been with the company less than a month.

Police say they have yet to recover the stolen property.

The believe the planter at Flower Power was rightfully purchased by the company after an employee dug up a receipt that matched the number on the item in question.

"A piece of pottery similar in description that was reported stolen last week was located at the business," SPD's Marcus Hines says. "It was found to be the business's piece of pottery and not the pottery that was allegedly stolen from the home."

Investigators say they had probable cause to arrest Vasko because the witness gave a detailed description of the company car, it's license plate, and Vasko herself.

Vasko is charged with one count of misdemeanor theft.

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