You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – January 2018

A collection of odd and whacky news stories that caught the Loss Prevention Media staff's attention

Florida man accused of stealing 85 frozen pigs

A man is accused of stealing more than $29,000 worth of frozen pigs. Lee County Sheriff’s deputies say 43-year-old Onil Rivas-Perez was pulled over for a red-light violation in Buckingham, Florida.  Deputies say they searched the trailer his truck was towing and found 85 frozen pigs. Detectives were already investigating a cargo theft case and determined the pigs were stolen in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
Perez is charged with Dealing in Stolen Property.  [Source: Fox4 News]

Shoplifting attempt with empty stroller ends in car crash [Viral Video]

A brazen shoplifting attempt at a Florida Best Buy ended in a car crash on Monday, after a woman was caught on her way out of the store with a baby stroller filled with electronics. Police say they arrested Donald Carter, Marcelous Thomas, and Sheeronnye Pendergrass on Monday after the trio led them on a wild chase that ended in a crash. Surveillance video from the Best Buy shows Pendergrass and Thomas allegedly entering the store with a small stroller. The women are then seen taking electronics off a shelf and tossing them into a stroller. “While in the store, both females began to select items and place them aside which were later loaded into the stroller and covered with a blanket,” Sgt. Mark Leone said.   The video from a different camera then shows Thomas come face to face with a Best Buy loss prevention employee, who opens the stroller and discovers the unpaid-for items. Thomas is then seen shoving past the employee and fleeing the store. “While holiday shopping, they decided that they were exempt from paying for their items so they loaded them up in a baby stroller and walked out,” the Davie Police Department wrote on Facebook. Police believe Carter was the women’s getaway driver. “As they fled out of the parking lot, Davie police officers attempted to stop them,” the department wrote. The trio then attempted to flee and crashed into several vehicles. In the process, Carter climbed into the back seat and Thomas took over for him at the wheel. Pendergrass exited the vehicle at some point and was caught by police. A brazen shoplifting attempt at a Florida Best Buy ended in a car crash on Monday, after a woman was caught on her way out of the store with a baby stroller filled with electronics. Police say they arrested Donald Carter, Marcelous Thomas, and Sheeronnye Pendergrass on Monday after the trio led them on a wild chase that ended in a crash. Surveillance video from the Best Buy shows Pendergrass and Thomas allegedly entering the store with a small stroller. The women are then seen taking electronics off a shelf and tossing them into a stroller.

“While in the store, both females began to select items and place them aside which were later loaded into the stroller and covered with a blanket,” Sgt. Mark Leone said. The video from a different camera then shows Thomas come face to face with a Best Buy loss prevention employee, who opens the stroller and discovers the unpaid-for items. Thomas is then seen shoving past the employee and fleeing the store. “While holiday shopping, they decided that they were exempt from paying for their items so they loaded them up in a baby stroller and walked out,” the Davie Police Department wrote on Facebook. Police believe Carter was the women’s getaway driver. “As they fled out of the parking lot, Davie police officers attempted to stop them,” the department wrote. The trio then attempted to flee and crashed into several vehicles. In the process, Carter climbed into the back seat and Thomas took over for him at the wheel. Pendergrass exited the vehicle at some point and was caught by police. A short police pursuit then ensued which ended after the attempted shoplifting suspects crashed into the entrance of a nearby neighborhood. Footage from the property’s camera shows two of the suspects climb out of the car and run away as smoke fills the cabin.  [Source: The Epoch Times]

Burglary suspect body slammed by 15-year-old boy

A 25-year-old San Diego man was arrested for the robbery of a Yucaipa, California, TJ Maxx store on Tuesday authorities said.

 The suspect, later identified as Omar Cruz walked into the store located at 33478 Yucaipa Boulevard at around 8:20 p.m. He filled two large rolling suitcases with over $2000 in merchandise and attempted to leave the store without paying for the merchandise. On his way out of the store, he ran into a 15-year-old boy who was entering the store with his mother. The mother confronted Cruz over the incident and during the confrontation the alarm sounded. The mother of the teen then realized that Cruz was stealing.
Cruz got into a gray 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and along with a getaway driver fled from the store. Citizens including the teen and his mother followed the suspect to El Pollo Loco where he was confronted. Cruz attempted to fight the 15-year-old boy, who then body slammed him to the ground. Citizens then held Cruz until the deputies arrived while the getaway driver fled the location. Cruz was found to have a no-bail probation violation warrant from a conviction for possession of stolen property. The suspect was positively identified by a TJ Maxx loss prevention associate who viewed the store surveillance. Cruz was also identified by the store employee as part of a TJ Maxx theft ring who they have been searching for. Cruz was booked at Central Detention Center for commercial burglary and his no-bail probation violation warrant.  [Source: 24/7 Headlines]

California man gets stuck in chimney during burglary attempt

Authorities say a Northern California man tried to burglarize a business by entering through the chimney only to become stuck. Police in the Sacramento-area city of Citrus Heights, California said Friday that 32-year-old Jesse Berube was uninjured but now faces one count of burglary. According to police, Berube slid down the chimney of the business Wednesday and then found himself lodged inside. The Rocklin man was able to reach his cellphone and dial 911 for help. The Sacramento Fire Department responded and used special equipment to extricate him. Police called Berube a “criminal Santa” who “does not have the same skills as the real deal.” [Source: Yakima-Herald]

Mom accused of using son to shoplift, abandons him when caught

A Florida mother was arrested after police say she used one of her children to shoplift from a department store and then abandoned the teen and her 2-year-old son when she tried to flee from security. According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Daily News, Mahassen Elhadary, 39, was at the JC Penny in Clearwater’s Westfield Countryside Mall with her children, including an infant in a stroller, on Dec. 23. Police say the mother of three was stealing from the store, using scissors to remove EAS tags from merchandise and then putting the items in a bag. She also allegedly had her 14-year-old son conceal items she was planning to steal.

The stolen clothes and shoes were worth $527, police say loss prevention approached Elhadary as she began to leave the store, causing her to grab her baby from the stroller and quickly flee the scene, leaving behind her teen and 2-year-old son, yelling at them to follow. The two children were stopped by LP associates, the report states. The children’s father, who was at a different store in the mall at the time, came to the JCPenny to pick them up. When police attempted to contact Elhadary by phone in order to get her to return to the store, she hung up on them, authorities say. Elhadary was arrested the following day on charges of child neglect without bodily harm, retail theft and possession of an anti-shoplifting device. Online jail records indicate she posted bond and was released from jail on Monday.  [Source: Daily News]

Is Little Caesar’s Pizza worth going to jail for?

A Fresno, California, man is in jail after admitting to assaulting a Little Caesar’s Pizza employee and stealing a pizza and soda, police reported. A witness told officers that David Tejeda, 29, walked into the business on Fresno and B streets in west Fresno about 12:45 p.m. Saturday, punched an employee and stole a pizza, Sgt. Glen Schafer said in a release. Tejeda returned soon after, the witness said, and stole a soda from the refrigerator. Tejeda was found by police just a few blocks from the scene and was taken into custody. Police say he admitted to the crimes and was booked into Fresno County Jail for robbery, assault and theft.  [Source: The Fresno Bee]

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