A Village of Haciendas of Mission Hills woman is poised to escape prosecution in a shoplifting case.
Helaine Seslowsky, 75, last month in Sumter County Court entered into a pre-trial intervention contract that requires her to pay a $250 fine and perform 20 hours of community service. The contract specifies that Seslowsky can “buy out” of the community service at a rate of $10 per hour. If she completes the terms of the contract, a charge of theft will be dismissed.
Seslowsky, who lives at 545 Cammarano Place, had been arrested Feb. 7 after she allegedly attempted to steal $220.98 worth of merchandise from Wal-Mart at Buffalo Ridge Plaza in The Villages, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. The Manhattan native concealed the items in green bags in her shopping cart and attempted to leave through the garden center without paying for the merchandise.
After that arrest, she wrote an email to Villages-News.com asking that the report of her arrest not be published.
“I am a grandma with four adult children and no former arrests. I did not mean to take groceries out of (the) store with intention of not paying. Left my wallet in car and walked out to get it,” she said in the email.
Wal-Mart officials contacted the sheriff’s office on Feb. 9 after discovering on surveillance that Seslowsky on Aug. 29 pushed a shopping cart containing $167.69 worth of merchandise out of the store, according to an arrest report. She was stopped by a store associate and Seslowsky left the cart on the sidewalk.
Wal-Mart personnel were able to identify Seslowsky in the Aug. 29 surveillance as a result of the Feb. 7 arrest.