Police: Rock Hill woman accused in church thefts stole from elementary school, assisted living facilities

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comApril 11, 2013 

Kori Wilson, a single Rock Hill mother of three charged with pilfering cash and credit cards at five York County churches, is now accused of stealing from people at a Rock Hill elementary school, two assisted living facilities and a senior living and health facility, according to police.

Rock Hill Police on Thursday served Wilson with five warrants, three of which charge her with financial transaction card theft and two which charge her with petty larceny.

She was being held on a $60,000 bond Thursday evening at the York County Detention Center, where charges stemming from her Sunday arrest by York County Sheriff’s deputies include: three counts of forgery, six counts of petty larceny, one count of giving false information, one count of “escape,” one count of resisting arrest, a probation violation, one count of possession of cocaine and one count of giving false information.

Deputies on Sunday investigated thefts at five York County churches, where members said a woman wearing a pink shirt and blue jeans walked in, wandered around, lied about her reasons for being there and then rifled through purses and offices, stealing cash and credit cards from a Sunday school teacher, a pastor’s wife, a Louisiana couple’s car and one church’s youth fund.

That woman was eventually identified as Wilson, who was arrested in Fort Mill.

But, according to police documents, Wilson started her string of thefts at Belleview Elementary School on March 26, when she stole a total of $600 from four teachers while they were in a meeting, according to a Rock Hill Police report.

On Easter, police say she went to Westminster Towers, went into residents’ rooms and rummaged through their drawers, according to a report. An employee said she tried to stop Wilson when she went into an empty room, but Wilson managed to force her way out and flee with a dollar in change.

On April 4, an employee at HarborChase Assisted Living facility on Constitution Boulevard said Wilson stole her pocketbook from under her desk, taking her wallet, driver’s license, bank cards and $10 cash, another report states.

Employees at Morningside Assisted Living on Main Street told police that Wilson walked into a resident’s room and went through her purse, according to a police report. When the woman confronted Wilson, she said she was “with the church” and then ran out.

Wilson was unable to remember exactly how much she took from the woman, but guessed it was about $50, said Rock Hill Police Detective Keith Dugan.

In a statement Wilson made to police, she said she had been “impaired” during most of the thefts, he said.

Wilson also is accused in connection with thefts from purses at West End Baptist Church on McConnells Highway on Palm Sunday.

Eliscia Wilson, Kori Wilson’s sister, said she wasn’t sure why her sister would commit the thefts, but she suspects her sister was trying to provide for her children.

“She’s a wonderful parent,” Elisica Wilson told The Herald this week.

Kori Wilson’s criminal history includes a string of financially related crimes. She had just been placed on probation in November after pleading guilty to three counts of financial card theft and one count of criminal conspiracy.

Details about Wilson’s arrest and the wound she suffered on the left side of her face were made available Thursday.

After deputies responded to the five York County churches – four of them in Rock Hill and one in York – they tracked a car seen dropping Wilson off at the churches to a home in York. They spoke with the registered owner, a 48-year-old man, who said that Wilson lived with him and he was in the process of taking her to the Walmart in Tega Cay so she could meet someone.

Deputies stopped the car on S.C. 160 and spoke with Wilson, who told police that she was her sister, Eliscia. She also said her sister had committed the thefts at the churches, not her.

Wilson refused to give deputies her ID, until they found it on the passenger’s seat and saw that she was Kori Wilson. As deputies prepared to arrest her, Wilson asked if she could smoke before being placed in the patrol car.

Wilson fled, still handcuffed, running across the parking lot in flip-flops. Officers chased Wilson, warning that they’d use their Tasers if she didn’t stop.

She didn’t listen as deputies deployed the Taser prongs, which missed her, the report states. Deputies caught up with Wilson as she fell in the parking lot.

“She was running away from our deputies across a parking lot in flip flops and tripped and fell and the deputy fell on her,” said York County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris.

Deputies found debit cards, IDs, checkbooks, syringes and 2 grams of cocaine in her purse, the report states. Wilson was taken to Piedmont Medical Center, where she refused treatment. She told officers that she stole the money to provide a home for her and her children.

Jonathan McFadden •  803-329-4082

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