Accused liquor thief says she didn't steal

Woman is related to Miami Heat player Udonis Haslem

RLO Liquor Store Robbery 6p
RLO Liquor Store Robbery 6p

NW Miami Dade – One of the women accused by a local store owner of stealing thousands of dollars has been identified as the aunt of Miami Heat hometown favorite Udonis Haslem.

However, Jackie Newsome said she's wrongly accused and has come forward to clear her name.

"I know I didn't steal anything. I went into the store about five days ago and purchased liquor. I paid for what purchased," Newsome told Local 10's Roger Lohse.

Newsome said her phone started ringing minutes after a story on Local 10 News on Monday showed surveillance video of two women walking out of Johnnie's Liquors on NW 22nd Avenue and 57th Street in northwest Miami Dade.

"To be put on TV in that aspect, that don't sit well with me at all," Newsome said.

It happened the day after Christmas. Surveillance cameras show the clerk giving two ladies several bags of booze. You could see Newsome putting a stack of cash on the counter, but according to the store manager, it was a wad of ones and fives.

The drawer was several hundred dollars short at the end of the night and nearly $3,000 worth of expensive liquor was missing from the inventory.

The manager said the clerk's explanation didn't add up either.

"Basically she said they were going to come back and pay for the items," said manager Mercedes Green.

"Did anyone ever come back and pay?" asked Lohse.

"Nope, not at all," Green answered.

Newsome acknowledged that she personally knows the clerk who was working that night and gave her $340 for the liquor which she purchased for a party, but she denies any sort of plan to stealing the merchandise.

"How come the register came up short? There's numerous reasons but that has nothing to do with her. We can all suspect, we can all imagine what happened, but we can't answer that, we don't know. We know one thing, Jackie didn't steal any liquor and went in there and paid," said Newsome's attorney Eric Schwartzreich, who contacted Miami-Dade police Tuesday to let detectives know she's willing to cooperate with the investigation.

"I paid for what I purchased and that was it," she said. "I need my name cleared."