Police Reports

State police admit mistaking identity of alleged shoplifter

By Guy Page

It was a case of mistaken identity.

On April 15, Vermont State Police issued a press release announcing that ‘Sarah Holland, of Rutland’ had been cited for retail theft at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Rutland, in connection with an April 13 incident. 

The press release said: “Investigation revealed that Sarah Holland, of Rutland, entered the store and left without paying for the merchandise she took. During the investigation, Holland repeatedly gave Troopers false information to hide her identity. Holland was issued a criminal citation to appear to the above charges.”

So far, the case appeared like a typical shoplifting. As it turns out, Sarah Holland was not the perpetrator. But she may well have been the victim. Last night, the state police issued an update: “On 04/18/2022 at approximately 1800 hours, Troopers from the Vermont State Police Rutland received a phone call from a woman claiming someone had used her identity when she was arrested in the below incident. Investigation led to the arrest of Kelly Ingram. Ingram was cited for identity theft as well as the retail theft before being lodged at Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility on outstanding warrants.”

Ingram is 37, state police say. No town of residence was provided. 

State police did not say if Holland was the April 18 caller claiming Ingram had used her identity, or whether the “false information to hide her identity” was in fact her real name. 

It was the second state police press release of the day describing, without any media prompting, apparent mistakes made by police officers. Around noon yesterday, the VSP announced a now-former state police detective had punched his family dog and then lied about the incident under oath. 

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  1. It’s a thin blue line that police officers walk both in law enforcement and in divulging relevant information to the public. Criticism of police and policing by some elements of society is perhaps at an all-time high and everything they do is under heightened scrutiny. In this case, it sounds like police assumed the identity provided by an individual was valid. Should police be expected to doubt the validity of all suspects’ identities and withhold all information from the public until verified? That will at times put public safety at risk.

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