Christin Coyne

ccoyne@weatherforddemocrat.com

A woman who, police say, confessed to stealing checks while in disguise at a Weatherford church in April was arrested twice Friday - once in relation to the church theft case and again, after she reportedly called police threatening suicide and was found with suspected methamphetamine in plain view in her vehicle. 

Kristi Lynn Towles, 50, charged with possession of a controlled substance, less than 1 gram, and stealing or receiving a stolen check, remained in the Parker County Jail as of Monday evening. 

Police, who were called as security staff attempted to stop a purse thief at Northside Baptist Church on April 7, initially found only the remains of a disguise but believe they have collared the suspect.   

Several members of the church security team told police, responding to the 900 block of North Main Street shortly after 7 p.m. April 7, that they observed a white female with long blond hair and wearing a hat in a secure area of the church picking up women’s purses. 

After several members approached her, she reportedly dropped the purses and left the building, walking south on North Elm Street and disappearing behind some houses on Edna Street.

Officers searching the area found a white hat with black stripes; a blond Magic Touch wig; a black Pesaro shoe; a dark gray, Colorado Clothing fleece zippered jacket; and a purple, Gloria Vanderbilt women’s top in the backyard of a residence in the 100 block of Edna Street. 

Two days after the attempted theft was reported, two members of the church told police they found that several checks had been taken from the middle of their check books. 

That same day, a bank on Camp Bowie Boulevard in Fort Worth reported to Fort Worth police a suspicious event at the branch involving one of the checks reported stolen.

A woman had unsuccessfully attempted to cash a check under the account of one of the church members, according to the affidavit. 

“I found that somehow [the bank manager] was familiar with the [parishioner] and [he] found it suspicious when a female, riding a bicycle, pulled up to the drive-thru and attempted to pass the check,” Investigator Joe Hopkins wrote in a probable cause affidavit. 

The bank manager asked the female to come in to finish the transaction and she left, leaving the driver’s license and check. 

Fort Worth police found that the driver’s license was reported stolen, according to the affidavit. 

After obtaining surveillance video and putting out a press release on April 20, police received a tip through Crimestoppers identifying 50-year-old Kristi Lynn Towles as a suspect. 

During an interview with Towles on April 24 at her apartment, she reportedly confessed to stealing the check, stealing the wallet with the driver’s license and attempting to pass the check at the Fort Worth bank and provided details of the case that only a person involved would have known, according to the officer’s probable cause statement. 

According to Weatherford police, investigators believe she may have been involved in similar offenses. 

Towles turned herself in on a misdemeanor charge of stealing or receiving a stolen check and was booked into the Parker County Jail shortly before 8 a.m. Friday.

Parker County Jail records indicated Towles posted $1,000 bond by 11 a.m. 

However, she was back inside on a felony drug charge by 10 p.m., according to jail records. 

A phone call from Towles to police led up to the second arrest, according to court records. 

Around 3:30 p.m., a patrol officer was asked to help locate Towles, who was on the phone with one of the detectives who had interviewed her regarding the previous case and was threatening to shoot herself, according to police. 

After her vehicle was located returning to her residence and stopped shortly before 5 p.m., Towles told the officer she lied about wanting to shoot herself and only had an airsoft gun, according to the patrol officer’s statement. 

While attempting to locate the gun in the back of the car to confirm whether it was an airsoft gun, the officer observed a clear plastic bag with a straw and a crystal substance on the floor between the two front seats in plain sight, he reported. 

When he asked, she reportedly confirmed it was methamphetamine and he also saw an open black case with an empty clear baggie and a green baggie, also containing a crystal substance and a red straw, the affidavit states.

After being read her Miranda warnings, Towles told the detective that the clear bag contained rock salt that she had believed to be methamphetamine and purchased for $100 but found it was rock salt after trying to smoke it, according to the probable cause statement. 

She said she then returned to her dealer and told them to make it right and she smoked some of the new methamphetamine, located in the green baggie, while at her dealer’s, the affidavit states. 

The substance in the clear bag returned a negative result during a narcotics test, while the other, weighing less than a gram, returned a positive result, according to police. 

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