Walla Walla woman pleads guilty in assault, theft at store

Vanessa M. Drake stole items and struck a security officer.

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WALLA WALLA -- A woman who stole items from Macy's store and struck a security officer in the face in July pleaded guilty this morning to two felony charges in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Vanessa M. Drake, 29, of 901 W. Poplar St., entered the guilty pleas to charges of third-degree assault and second-degree theft. She had been accused of second-degree robbery, which was reduced in exchange for her guilty pleas.

Drake faces a standard-range jail term of three to eight months when she's sentenced later.

But the prosecution is recommending the standard-range sentence be waived under a first-time offender option and Drake be ordered to serve 30 days on the Department of Corrections work crew plus a year on community custody, a form of probation.

The case stems from a report that Drake was seen taking clothing and jewelry items from the Macy's store at 54 E. Main St. without paying for them about 11:45 a.m. July 27.

When the store's security officer, Ashley Rakestraw, confronted Drake outside, Drake hit Rakestraw in the face with her hand, threw the clothing items at Rakestraw and fled, according to a police report filed in court.

Drake was apprehended a short time later near Fifth Avenue and Main Street and booked into the County Jail, officials said.

She was released the following day pending further court proceedings.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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