Monett Police seek person of interest

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Keith wanted for series of alleged opportunistic thefts

There’s people watching, and then there’s people watching for nefarious purposes.

A Monett woman allegedly tends to participate in the latter, and local law enforcement officials are hoping to curtail her capricious capers soon.

Det. Jeff Martinson, with the Monett Police Department, say investigators are seeking the whereabouts of Latosha Keith, 35, of Monett. She is described as standing 5-4 and weighing 216 pounds. She has a tattoo of a cross on her right arm, and a butterfly and flower on her left.

Keith, who has been charged with multiple felonies for other crimes, is now wanted on felony warrants in both Barry County and pending felony warrants in Monett.

“She drives a silver four-door sedan with Missouri license plates EE1 A4F,” Martinson said. “She likes to sit on parking lots and watch people exit their vehicles. If someone is not carrying a purse, she will approach the vehicle, and if it is unlocked, will remove purses or other personal items. It’s an opportunistic crime.”

One of her most recent alleged adventures included an extended discussion with another customer at Typhoon Car Wash.

“A lady went to vacuum her vehicle and removed her purse and set it on the island near the vacuum station,” Martinson said. “Ms. Keith drove into the adjacent station and moved the purse. When the owner confronted her about it, she claimed not to know it was her purse. The owner discovered two credit cards missing, and Keith just happened to find one of the stolen cards in a nearby trash can, but denied knowledge of the other. She is a person of interest in at least five other similar crimes that have occurred so far this year.”

Martinson said Keith is known to stay in the area and makes a practice of visiting parking lots of several bustling business enterprises to purloin the personal items of others.

“The key here is for people to lock their vehicles,” Martinson said. “She doesn’t make any attempt to enter a locked vehicle.”

Those with information on the whereabouts of Keith are asked to call the Barry-Lawrence Chapter of Crime Stoppers at 417-354-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-635-TIPS (8477). Rewards are given for information leading to the arrest of felons. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

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