It appears that Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, the widow of suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, has a criminal record and is a confessed shoplifter.
According to a police report from 2007, Katherine Russell was arrested that year for stealing $67 worth of clothing from an Old Navy store in Warwick, Rhode Island.
And in an intriguing twist, Katherine Russell, who was 18 at the time, told officers she was married though she was living at parent’s North Kingstown home and did not meet Tamerlan Tsranaev until some two years later.
The startling revelation of this tawdry incident raises fresh questions over the past and character of the “all-American girl” “brainwashed” according to her friends, by her fanatic husband.
Katherine Russell, no 25, was arrested along with an unnamed female minor on 26 June 2007. Then, the police report states, she was “skinny” with hazel eyes and red or auburn hair – now firmly concealed by the Hijab. She is described as unemployed and married.
Old Navy store security guard Linda Lewis stopped the girls having watched Katherine Russelll and her companion enter the store, select several items and put them in their handbags.
In 2011 Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, was charged with stealing several designer dresses worth $1,600 from a store in suburban Natick.
Katherine Russell’s foray was hardly on the same scale. She took five items valuing $67; her friend took three with a total item of $125.
She was placed in handcuffs and taken to Warwick Police Department.
According to the store Loss Prevention Agent Linda Lewis: “They admitted to shoplifting the items and handed the over without further incident.”
Katherine Russell was summonsed to appear at Kent County Courthouse where her charge was dismissed on paying a $200 fine and doing community service.
That fall Katherine Russell enrolled in a Communications course at Suffolk University, Boston, an act that led to her meeting Tamerlan Tsranaev in a nightclub and the relationship that would ultimately derail her college dreams completely.