Shoplifter spurs chase, two-hour search

Jul 24, 2019

What began as a shoplifting incident at the Rite-Aid in Wareham Plaza escalated to a car chase, a crash involving a cruiser, and a two hour search for the suspect on July 24.

According to the Wareham Police: Officers responded to the pharmacy at 2:09 p.m. following a report of a shoplifting in progress. The female shoplifter, later identified as Tammi L. Denwood, 41, of Randolph, fled the lot in a blue Nissan and drove “very erratically” west down Marion Road just before Officer Zina Kelsch arrived.

Within a few minutes, Kelsch located the suspect’s car in the parking lot at the Woods of Wareham. Denwood spotted the cruiser and reversed her car at a high speed through the parking lot before colliding with the cruiser on Swifts Beach Road, and the cars were “hung up on each other.” Kelsch then ran to Denwood’s car and tried to open the door, ordering the suspect to get out. Denwood was able to speed off onto Littleton Drive, where she abandoned the car and ran into the woods.

Wareham officers set up a perimeter and were able to locate Denwood after a two-hour search, with the assistance of the State Police and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office. 

Officers Christopher Corner and Joseph Cardoza found Denwood on Camardo Drive and arrested her. Officers searched Denwood and her car and found what was believed to be powder cocaine, crack cocaine, Suboxone, and Gabapentin along with a digital scale and $921 in cash. Officers also recovered the items Denwood allegedly stole from Rite-Aid, which had a total value of $28.66.

Denwood is facing a number of charges: Shoplifting, failure to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, operating after suspension of driver’s license, marked lanes violation, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of possession of a Class “B” drug, and possession of a Class “E” drug.

While officers were responding to the incident, Sergeant Kevin Reilly was involved in a serious collision at the corner of Swifts Beach Road and Marion Road, and was transported to Tobey Hospital with minor injuries.

Officer Kelsch was uninjured in the accident with the suspect.