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Creative theft attempt fails at Portage store, lands shopper behind bars, police say | Crime and Courts

Creative theft attempt fails at Portage store, lands shopper behind bars, police say | Crime and Courts



Alexandria Rodriguez

Alexandria Rodriguez




PORTAGE — A 32-year-old woman faces a felony count of theft after allegedly grabbing a child’s car seat and toy organizer from the shelf at the local Walmart store, returning the two items as though she had purchased them and then using an in-store credit to obtain three other items, police said.

Alexandria Rodriguez, who is listed as being both from Gary and Jackson Township in Porter County, denied the accusations and said there was confusion over an older car seat she was attempting to return, according to Portage police.

Police said they were called to the store shortly after 5 p.m. Monday and found Rodriguez excited and difficult to understand.

A man with Rodriguez said they were not at the store to return a car seat and he had no idea what she had been up to, police said.

Rodriquez was reportedly uncooperative during her arrest, collapsed to her knees and began yelling that officers threw her to the ground while she was pregnant, according to police. A pregnancy test at the jail returned negative, police said.

She faces a charge of theft with a prior conviction, according to the police report.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Porter County Jail

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Courts siding with insurance firms over business interruption claims | Business

Courts siding with insurance firms over business interruption claims | Business

A growing number of U.S. courts are ruling against employers who’ve filed insurance claims for business interruption coverage stemming from government-ordered coronavirus shutdowns.

The Insurance Information Institute reports insurers have won more than a dozen cases since May, with judges ruling that the policies only kick in if a property sustains physical damage. The business owners had argued that the coverage should have started when local or state governments issued stay-at-home orders that hampered their ability to operate.

A couple of Charleston-area cases are still pending in federal court. Black Magic Cafe says its losses started on March 17, when Gov. Henry McMaster ordered a temporary halt to dine-in services at South Carolina restaurants.

The historic Calhoun Mansion at 10 Meeting St., now known as The Williams Mansion, sued its insurer after a McMaster executive order shut down museums.



Charleston cafe takes on insurance firm in fight over coronavirus claims

A bill that would have required insurance carriers to cover coronavirus-related business losses — co-sponsored by Sen. Sandy Senn, a Charleston Republican, and Sen. Marlon Kimpson, a Charleston Democrat — was introduced in the S.C. Statehouse in April but went nowhere.

Recent court rulings indicate the local cases might be a losing cause.

For example, Judge Thomas Thrash last week dismissed a federal lawsuit brought by restaurant in Georgia, ruling that a government stay-at-home order did not cause the business to sustain direct physical loss of or damage to its insured property or surrounding premises.



Owner of Charleston's historic Calhoun Mansion suing insurer over COVID-19 claims

Similarly, a U.S. District Court judge in Florida last month dismissed a trade show display company’s claims, saying “the plain language of the policies reflect that actual, concrete damage is necessary.”

And in another ruling in California last month, Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo ruled against a pair of barbershops, stating: “Most courts have rejected these claims, finding that the

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