Two people were arrested Sunday morning for allegedly stealing newspapers out of the front yards of homes in South Smithfield.
Smithfield Police said a carrier for the News and Observer reported customers had been complaining for the last few Sunday’s about not receiving their newspapers even though the carrier had tossed the papers into the front yards of the customers.
After making deliveries of the Sunday edition of the N&O, the carrier remained in the South Smithfield neighbor to watch several homes that had papers stolen recently. Within minutes, a brown van appeared and the occupants allegedly stole the newspapers from several yards. When approached by the carrier they sped away.
Responding to a 911 call from the delivery driver, Smithfield Police stopped the van on South Brightleaf Boulevard near E. Davis Street minutes later.
Police said they recovered 22 News & Observers and 51 Smithfield Herald papers. Police said the coupons had been removed from the papers and sorted in different piles . Officers believe the suspects were either reselling the stolen newspapers or the coupons.
Ruth Noemi Gonzalez-Rodas, 32, of E. Caroline Avenue, Smithfield and Blanca Alicia Ajsac, 35, of E. Holt Street, Smithfield were charged with larceny and conspiracy. Charges against a third suspect are still pending, according to Police Captain R. Sheppard.
Gonzalez-Rodas was given a $2,500 bond. Ajsac was released on $3,500 bail.