RETAIL SECURITY NEWS
February 15, 2008
San Francisco Ca Syringe-wielding shoplifter
: Officers went to Safeway, on the 700 block of Taraval Street, where a shoplifter had been confronted by security after he had left the store at 11:40 p.m. Feb. 3. The shoplifter pulled out a syringe and threatened to infect the security officers. The employees surrounded the suspect and took him to the ground. The suspect, who lives on the 2100 block of Mission Street, was arrested for robbery, felony assault and possession of illegal narcotics.
ENFIELD CT. – A Massachusetts man who is facing criminal charges after jumping off the Route 190 bridge over the Connecticut River last summer has been charged in a shoplifting incident that police say turned into a robbery when he shoved a store security guard.
The new criminal case could block an attempt by the man, Nicholas Mavis, 19, of Southwick, to avoid a criminal conviction in the bridge jumping case through a pretrial probation program.
Mavis was charged with interfering with an officer and second-degree breach of peace last August after witnesses saw him jump from the bridge and emergency personnel mounted a massive search. The witnesses didn’t see Mavis surface after the jump, although he made it to shore safely.He now faces shoplifting charges, which could lead to denial of his application for “accelerated rehabilitation,” a pretrial probation program that can lead to dismissal of criminal charges.Mavis was arrested Feb. 3 at the Bob’s Store in Enfield and was arraigned in Enfield Superior Court the next day.Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher Parakilas said in court that security personnel at Bob’s tried to detain Mavis to question him about shoplifting – and that Mavis shoved a security guard. He also interfered with police when they were called to the store, the prosecutor said.Mavis was charged with third-degree robbery, sixth-degree larceny, and second-degree breach of peace.Judge Richard Dyer set his bond at $7,500. Mavis is scheduled to appear in court again Feb. 14 for the accelerated rehabilitation hearing and to enter a plea on the new charges.Mavis has said friends dared him to jump from the bridge in August. He plunged 65 feet into the water below.Numerous emergency workers, including police officers from Enfield and other towns, firefighters, and a state police dive team searched the river for Mavis.He said last summer that he had made similar jumps many times.
New Cannan CT. South Salem, N.Y. woman was arrested for shoplifting last week, but not before she tried to escape with a store employee on the hood of her car. Jennifer Walsh, 28, left Togs without paying for three pairs of jeans, worth $496, shortly before noon Monday, January 28, according to New Canaan Police.Ms. Walsh was followed outside by employees of the Elm Street shop, two of whom rapped on her car to get Ms. Walsh’s attention.One employee, who had perched herself atop the car’s hood, was unhurt after being taken for a “five second” ride when Ms. Walsh accelerated, police said.Ms. Walsh was arrested and charged with fifth-degree larceny and second-degree reckless endangerment.She posted $1,000 bond and was due in court February 6.Earlier, Togs employees had noticed Ms. Walsh behaving strangely in the store, police said. They gave chase when they realized she left five pairs of jeans in the dressing room, after entering with eight.While police encourage merchants to be vigilant in preventing crime, Sgt. Carol Ogrinc said, she cautioned them against putting their lives in danger to catch shoplifters. Providing officers with an individual’s description and license plate is sufficient, she said.
SAN ANTONIO TX. A former Southwest Airlines employee and her husband pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud, acknowledging they stole more than 5,000 plane tickets and sold them to friends, co-workers and other acquaintances.
Ex-Southwest employee Althea Jackson and her husband, former Bexar County court bailiff James Jackson, have sentencing dates scheduled for May 8, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas. They each face up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines but under the plea agreement will likely receive between two years and 2 1/2 years in prison and a reduced fine, said their defense attorney, Jay Norton.
With her guilty plea, Althea Jackson acknowledged acquiring about 5,600 courtesy airline tickets when she worked at Southwest from January 2001 to September 2005, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton said. The courtesy tickets are normally given to inconvenienced passengers and vendors or to passengers who assist flight crews, such as by providing medical assistance to someone who gets sick during a flight.
The Jacksons then sold the tickets below market value, with many of the tickets going to “friends, relatives, acquaintances and James Jackson’s co-workers at the Bexar County Justice Center,” Sutton said.
Prosecutors said the defendants sold them for cash from March 2000 to January 2003. Prosecutors estimate the scam was worth about as much as $1.8 million, a figure disputed by Norton.
The Jacksons were indicted in June 2006.
Hickory N.C. A Burke County man was charged Tuesday with exposing himself in a Wal-Mart over the weekend, authorities said.
Phillip Wayne Black, 68, was arrested on a warrant charging him with indecent exposure.About 7:15 p.m. Sunday, a woman shopping at the Hickory Wal-Mart saw a man in the store’s electronics section with his pants unzipped, according to the Hickory Police Department. She said he was looking at two young girls and touching his genitals.
The woman told the girls to leave the area, police said, and contacted Wal-Mart security to call the police. Hickory police said they tried talking with Black at the store, but he would not talk about the incident and left.
Police later found evidence that allowed them to issue a warrant for Black’s arrest, but they would not say what it was.Black was picked up by Burke County deputies shortly after midnight Tuesday and charged by Hickory police.
For two women accused of stealing from a Pier 1 Imports store in Annapolis, a theft charge got a lot more serious when police searched their car and found evidence suggesting a shoplifting scheme that covered at least four states and involved the use of disguises, Anne Arundel County police said yesterday.
Natasha Parks, 31, and Leslie Thompson, 47, both of Brooklyn NY.
, were charged with 12 counts of theft, Lt. Jeffrey Silverman said. They were being held without bond at the county detention center yesterday.
The women were arrested Friday after allegedly stealing $5,796 worth of merchandise from 12 Annapolis area stores — including Nordstrom, Victoria’s Secret and Macy’s– in about two hours, Silverman said. Each had false identification cards, and their car contained wigs that were part of disguises to conceal their identities, he said.
“In the search of the vehicle, they found directions to malls in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey,” Silverman said.
Investigators think the shoplifting scheme involved the exchange of stolen merchandise for gift cards at high-end retailers and department stores, police said.
“They definitely knew what they were doing,” Silverman said.
The women, who stayed one night at an Anne Arundel County motel, had “boosting bags,” or shopping bags lined with aluminum foil, to avoid setting off security scanners at store exits, Silverman said. They also had bulky jackets with holes cut in the lining so merchandise could be hidden there.
At the Pier 1 store, the women fled after being confronted by an employee, Silverman said. They were arrested outside nearby Westfield Shoppingtown Annapolis after Officer Jennifer O’Donnell spotted their vehicle. The women were linked to thefts at three different shopping centers in Annapolis that morning, he said.
Also found in the car were receipts from the previous week from stores in Connecticut, New York and Delaware, as well as White Marsh Mall in Baltimore County. The receipts were for items that the women had stolen at one store and exchanged for gift cards at a location where the retailer had another outlet, Silverman said. There was also “a list of names of stores and items that they had to return” inside the car, Silverman said.
VINELAND NJ — Police say a woman called in a bomb threat to Best Buy on Tuesday evening because she was angry about being banned from the store following a shoplifting charge filed the day before.
Diane Gregor, 53, of the 2500 block of South East Boulevard was charged with false public alarm and released on a summons pending court action.
Police found several employees outside of the building when they arrived at the Cumberland Mall store at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. The full extent of the store’s evacuation was unclear.
Several officers searched the store, but did not find an explosive device.
An employee who took the call told police the caller sounded like a woman trying to sound like a man.
The caller said, “There’s a bomb in the store, and it’s gonna go boom,” before hanging up, according to police.
Manager Aamir Babar was asked if he had any recent problems with employees or customers. He immediately recalled Gregor was asked to leave the store earlier in the day because of a shoplifting incident the previous day, and police went to her house.
Police allegedly found Gregor seated in the kitchen of her home with a cell phone on the table. After she allowed police to come in, Gregor allegedly said, “I didn’t call” before officers questioned her about the bomb threat.
Gregor allegedly yelled, “I didn’t do it” several times before telling police she went to Best Buy earlier to buy a wire splitter for her computer, but was told to leave because she was involved in a shoplifting incident Monday.
During an additional interview at headquarters, Gregor allegedly admitted making the bomb threat because she was angry she was ordered out of the store.
In Monday’s incident, police charged Gregor with shoplifting a 90-watt AC adaptor and resisting arrest. Gregor allegedly tried to kick out the window of a police cruiser and tried to prevent an officer from handcuffing her.
Jackson AL. Former Grove Hill Mayor Willie Welch faces theft charges following his arrest at the Wal- Mart Supercenter in Jackson last week. According to Jackson Police Officer Barry Fowler’s report, the police department received a call around 10:35 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6, from the store’s management reporting an incident of shoplifting.
CANTON OH. Wal-Mart security officers told Canton Police that a man threatened them with a knife when they confronted him about toys and other items he had stuffed in his trench coat. No one was seriously injured, the man was arrested, and police later found the items behind a nearby house. Stevie M. Banks, 42, who has no permanent address, was arrested just before 10 p.m. Tuesday at the store and charged with aggravated robbery, Stark County Jail records said. Jail records said he took three Sesame Street characters, three knit caps, two wallets and two knives from the Wal-Mart store at 3200 Atlantic Blvd. NE. Police later found the items behind a home in the 3000 block of Ohio Avenue NE. Banks remained in jail Wednesday, held in lieu of $50,000 bond on the first-degree felony, which is punishable upon conviction by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Stark County Court records show Banks was released a couple of weeks ago from prison after serving time for felony domestic violence.
NILES MI — A 31-year-old woman whose address was unknown was arraigned on three charges Wednesday after an alleged shoplifting incident at the Wal-Mart store, 2107 S. 11th St., Niles, led to the discovery of methamphetamine components in her car.
A spokeswoman at Berrien County Trial Court in Niles said bond for Brandy Haulcomb was set at $7,500 on charges of unarmed robbery and assault and battery and $10,000 on a charge of possession of meth lab components. She was lodged in the county jail in lieu of bond.
Berrien County sheriff’s deputies said they were dispatched to the store shortly before noon Tuesday after a store official reported Haulcomb had assaulted a security guard who had attempted to detain Haulcomb for suspected shoplifting.
Subsequent investigation led to the discovery of the meth lab components in Haulcomb’s car in the store’s parking lot.
Haulcomb is scheduled for a case conference Tuesday at the county Trial Court in St. Joseph.
FREEMONT CA. On Feb. 12 at 9:10 p.m., Fremont police responded to the intersection of Argonaut Way and Mowry Avenue to the report of a robbery at the Safeway at Fremont Hub Shopping Center.
A security guard at the store told officers that employees alerted him to a shoplifting in progress involving a man and woman, police said.
Store employees detained the woman, but the man tried to leave the store.
Security followed the man into the parking lot, where he allegedly pulled a handgun on guards before fleeing, police said.
Arriving officers located the suspect leaving the Lakeview Apartments across the street and detained him. But the suspect denied any involvement, and officers could not locate any stolen goods, police said.
Officers searched the complex and found a backpack near some ivy. A search of the bag found a pullover sweatshirt, utility flashlight, beanie and pellet gun, police said.
The suspect was taken back to the store, where witnesses identified him. Officers also examined store surveillance video and identified the suspect on the tape, police said.
Officers arrested Matthew Quiles, 20, of Fremont, on robbery charges.
He was taken to Fremont City Jail.
LINCOLNTON GA. An arrest has been made in conjunction with the armed robbery that took place at the Family Dollar Store on Thursday, December 6.
According to Jim Justice, chief of the Lincolnton Police Department, Tramain Searles, 20, of Lincolnton was arrested and charged with one count of armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and two counts of false imprisonment.
Searles allegedly entered the store, wearing a ski mask and brandishing a gun, and demanded money from the two cashiers on duty.
“Both women complied with the robber’s request, handing over an undisclosed amount of cash,” said Justice. “The suspect then fled the building through the back door.” Searles is currently being held in custody at the Lincoln County Law Enforcement Center
INDIANAPOLIS IND. An accused shoplifter and three companions are in serious condition after the alleged thief crashed his car while fleeing police. Indianapolis Metro Police say 23-year-old Craig Apman raced out of a Meijer store with stolen steaks and vodka. An IMPD officer in the parking lot chased him in his squad car. The pursuit ended after about 15 blocks when Apman veered into a ditch and flipped the car. Three people who were waiting in Apman’s car are hurt but won’t face charges. Apman is charged with theft and fleeing. An officer who inhaled some smoke after the crashed car caught fire is in good condition
NEWTON MA – A Taunton man was arrested after police say he stole a Burberry scarf and Armani underwear from Bloomingdale’s. On Wednesday at 3:55 p.m., Ucha Archvadze, 29, of 178 Highland St., was arrested and charged with shoplifting by concealing merchandise, police said.
Archvadze attempted to leave the department store without paying for $119 worth of merchandise, police said.
CLYDE NC – A shoplifting arrest led to the recovery of more than 30 flags stolen recently from area businesses.
Haywood County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Shell responded Tuesday to a report of a shoplifter at Wal-Mart. When he arrived he found Shawn Ray Allen, of Long Street, Waynesville, in the custody of Wal-Mart employees. The employees alleged Allen tried to steal a speaker, according to the incident report.
Shell placed Allen under arrest for shoplifting and when he went to search Allen’s truck in the store’s parking lot, he found William Sonny Bryson, of Hurst Drive, Candler, and a female waiting inside the truck.
Bryson told the deputy truck belonged to him and allowed officers to search the vehicle. Shell said he found three American flags, two North Carolina flags, a Stihl chain saw banner and two metal Harley-Davidson signs.
Bryson admitted he stole one of the American flags from Garrett Hillcrest Cemetery on Russ Avenue in Waynesville. He was arrested and charged with six counts of possession of stolen property.
Waynesville Police Det. Crystal Shuler said she added 15 counts of misdemeanor larceny, four counts of possession of stolen property and and one count of injury to personal property.
Shuler said she was aware of about 11 businesses that had reported flags missing, but she still has 20-25 flags that have not yet been reported missing.
“If people are missing a flag can call me and come up here and see if they have a flag up her in our stack,” Shuler said.
She said she didn’t know what the motive for the flag thefts was since most of the flags are worn and not good for resale. Allen was “too intoxicated to talk” when he was arrested Tuesday, so she said she was going to wait a few days before interviewing him.
Investigators determined the other U.S. flags found Tuesday in the truck were from HomeTrust Bank and Arby’s in Waynesville and the state flags came from HomeTrust Bank and the Haywood County Justice Center.
The Stihl banner was reported stolen from By-Pass Power Equipment and the Harley signs were reportedly taken from Ghost Town Harley-Davidson.
Flags have also been reported stolen recently from Clark and Leatherwood and the Haywood Community College campus on Industrial Park Drive in Waynesville.
Allen is also accused of breaking the windows out of car sitting for sale outside of Stereo Innovations on North Main Street in Waynesville.
Bryson, 20, was released Wednesday on $3,000 bond. Bond for Allen, 23, was set at $25,500.