Breaking News in the Industry: April 3, 2018

Police officer charged with shoplifting and misconduct

A Wyoming police officer is out of a job after being charged with shoplifting and intimidating a Walmart loss prevention associate who confronted her about stealing. Fremont County prosecutors filed 11 shoplifting charges and an official misconduct charge against Bridgett McGinness.  Riverton Police Chief Eric Murphy tells the Daily Ranger that McGinness is no longer with the department. He did not provide any more information. State investigators say surveillance tapes showed that on 11 different occasions between Nov. 21 and Dec. 19, McGinness used the store’s self-checkout system and put some items in her bag without scanning them or brought her own bar codes to scan. Prosecutors say a Walmart loss prevention associate spotted McGinness trying to steal items three times. Investigators say McGinness told them she was a good person who made poor choices. [Source: KGWN News]

Suspect tasers LP associate after shoplifting

Two Youngstown, Ohio, women are charged with robbery after police say they stole from a Burlington store and then used a Taser on an employee. Danielle Russell, 26, and Garanasia Drayton, 18, were arrested on Friday afternoon. According to Burlington loss prevention associates, the women tried to conceal children’s clothing in a bag and then walk out of the store. They were confronted by an LP associate on the sidewalk outside, according to a police report. The officer told police that Russell then lunged at him while Drayton ran into the parking lot, later returning with a stun gun. He said Drayton used the stun gun on him, and they managed to get away while he grabbed the purse containing stolen clothing. Russell and Drayton were arrested later that day and identified as the suspects by LP associates, according to a police report. Russell was also cited for driving under suspension. They’re being held in the Mahoning County Jail. [Source: WKBN27 First News]

Three arrested in multi-state theft ring

Plate County, Missouri, investigators say they have made three arrests in a theft ring that spans four states. Joshua Braxton Thigpen, Raven Alexandria Neece, and Karly Lyndon Barnes allegedly stashed stolen electronics in a residence near Kansas City International Airport. The items were allegedly stolen from stores in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa – investigators say the suspects would disable the security devices before taking them. From there, investigators say the three would sell them on eBay. Thigpen, Neece, and Barnes were arrested Wednesday in Holton, Kansas – about 90 minutes west of KCI Airport. Investigators say Neece and Thigpen had been recognized by store employees for two previous thefts, and were stopped by police shortly after leaving the store. [Source: Fox4KC]

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Bystanders jump in to help police officer with suspect in shoplifting

A Slidell, Louisiana, police officer who was trying to arrest a suspected shoplifter at the Walmart got help from three bystanders who jumped in to help subdue the man, according to a news release. The officer, who was working a security detail, was trying to stop 37-year-old, David Lewis of Slidell, who began kicking and punching the officer, spokesman Daniel Seuzeneau said. During the struggle, Lewis pulled the officer’s police radio from his belt, preventing him from calling for backup. A bystander picked up the radio and activated the officer’s emergency button to alert other officers. Lewis also tried disarm the officer by pulling his gun from the holster, Seuzeneau said, prompting two more people to jump in to help subdue him. When backup arrived, Lewis was taken into custody. “Normally it’s our citizens calling for help, but in this case, one of our officers needed help. Several good citizens answered the call and put themselves in harm’s way in order to assist,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said in a prepared statement. “This is why we love our community. It makes it much easier to protect and serve knowing the citizens of our city have our backs.” Lewis was booked into the Slidell city jail on theft, resisting an officer by violence, disturbing the peace by public intoxication, battery on a police officer and attempting to disarm a police officer. No one was seriously injured during the incident, Seuzeneau said. [Source: The New Orleans Advocate]

Two men arrested, LPA ‘punched in face several times’

In Alaska, Anchorage Police say they have arrested two men who were tied to multiple crimes around town. According to a Nixle alert from APD, 19-year-old Deen Smith and 20-year-old Tre’Donnis Washington stole a van and committed several crimes including theft, burglary and assault. Police say at 5:01 a.m., they were notified of a white Ford passenger van that was stolen from a residence on the 1400 block of East 9th Avenue. Just before 3 p.m., officers responded to the Northway Mall after a report of a robbery at Fresh Look. According to witnesses, two black males, who were later identified as Smith and Washington, entered the store and left without paying for a necklace. That was when a female loss prevention associate chased after Smith, attempting to get him to pay for the stolen item. “Smith pushed the female into a kiosk which caused her to fall and injure herself,” APD wrote. “A male LP associate went over to help the female when Washington punched the male several times causing injury to the male victim’s face and hand.  At some point during the altercation, the necklace was dropped by Smith and subsequently recovered by the employees.” The mall’s security followed Smith and Washington and saw them take off in a white van that police later determined was the one reported stolen early that morning. Nearly two hours later, a caller reported seeing a white van driving recklessly in south Anchorage, park in the Target parking lot and go inside the store. Officers responded and found the two men in the toy aisle.  Smith and Washington were taken into custody without incident. “During the pat-down search, it was discovered that Washington had stolen a hat from Target and concealed it in his underwear,” police said. Smith was arrested and charged with burglary in the first-degree, criminal mischief in the fifth-degree, theft in the fourth-degree, assault in the fourth-degree and robbery in the second-degree. Washington was also arrested and charged on an existing warrant and additional charges including two counts of theft in the second-degree, burglary in the first-degree, vehicle theft in the first-degree, assault in the fourth-degree and robbery in the second-degree.  [Source: KTVA News]

Couple accused in $12,000+ theft

A Delaware couple is accused in connection with a theft of more than $12,000 worth of merchandise from a Walmart on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Detwon Banner, 23, and Jaleesa Banner, 29, both of Wilmington, have been charged with shoplifting electronic devices and other merchandise from a Walmart in Berlin, Worcester County, during three separate incidents, reported Delaware State Police on Sunday. The Banners were apprehended on March 28, during a traffic stop for speeding in Georgetown, Delaware. Police say that they saw “a large quantity of assorted merchandise in the back seat of the vehicle, which had anti-theft devices still attached.” A search of the vehicle turned up “an assortment of electronic devices and miscellaneous merchandise” valued at $5,537.47, said police. The driver, Detwon Banner, said he didn’t know where the merchandise came from. The passenger, Jaleesa Banner, at first gave police the wrong name but was eventually identified. She also said she didn’t know anything about the merchandise. Troopers eventually determined that the items had been stolen from the Berlin Walmart. Maryland authorities were able to link them to two earlier shoplifting incidents at that Walmart, in which more than $12,000 had been stolen. Both suspects are charged with one count each of receiving stolen property and second-degree conspiracy, both felonies. Detwon Banner was also charged with speeding, not having a valid license, no proof of insurance and no proof of registration. Jaleesa Banner was also charged with criminal impersonation. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Delaware crime stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.    [Source: Fox5 News]

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