Woman charged with armed robbery after holding up stores with stun gun
A 23-year-old woman was charged Saturday with armed robbery after she was accused of holding up at least three stores with a stun gun, Chicago police said. T’Keyah Herbert was charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and retail theft over $300, police said. The charges stem from three incidents that happened between Dec. 26, 2017, and Jan. 10. About 8 p.m. Dec. 26, Herbert entered a department store in the first block of South State Street, grabbed merchandise from the display and fled without paying, police said. She went back to the same location shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, armed with a stun gun. When she was confronted by security, Herbert left the stun gun and fled the store, police said. About 3:15 p.m. the next day, Herbert went to a store in the 1500 block of North Clybourn Avenue and got into an argument with employees before pulling out a stun gun and threatening them. She then grabbed merchandise and fled, police said. She was arrested Thursday shortly before 7 p.m., police said. Herbert was scheduled Saturday to appear at a bail hearing, where she was released on a signature bond. [Source: Chicago Tribune]
Two arrested in what appears to be nationwide ID theft ring
Local police believe they’ve helped crack a national identity theft ring after arresting two Philadelphia men outside the Tilton Lowe’s store, waiting to cart away plenty of stolen merchandise Thursday. Store officials first reported to Tilton police Thursday morning that a large phone pick-up order of some appliances appeared to be fraudulent. They told police the person with the credit card who had placed the order from outside New Hampshire denied having anything to do with the purchase. About noon time, police said the men arrived at the store, located at 49 Lowes Drive, in a rented U-Haul van to pick up the order. Inside the van, police recovered numerous gift cards with stolen credit card information and a large number of stolen identities. Police officials said this appeared to be a stolen identity and gift card theft ring that moved from state to state. Tilton detectives decided this was sufficient evidence to arrest the two in the van on charges of identify fraud and criminal liability for another. Kyseem Tyhee Hawkins, 22, and Charles Roshek Gibbs Jr., 23, both of Philadelphia, were arraigned Friday at Belknap County Superior Court Friday. They each remain held on $50,000 cash bail. Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier said a search uncovered many victims from New Jersey to California and the theft clearly amounted to thousands of dollars in many states. “I could easily see 50 or 60 victims on the list,” Cormier said. The U-Haul van with Arizona plates was impounded as evidence and the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information about this matter or these men is urged to call the Tilton police detectives at 286-8207, ext. 210, or 286-4442. [Source: NH Union Leader]
Woman accused of theft from employer
A Greenfield, New York, woman was arrested on a grand larceny charge for allegedly stealing more than $1,000 from the store where she worked, police said. Tanya M. Blowers, 29, of Middle Grove, was accused of stealing more than $1,000 from the Hannaford store where she worked over a two-month period, ending earlier this month, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office. Blowers was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony, and released pending prosecution in Milton Town Court. [Source: The Post News]
Business owner accused in retail theft ring
The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office says a Crawfordville, Florida, business owner has been arrested, accused of running an elaborate retail theft operation. Following an investigation, on Thursday, deputies arrested Sylvia Pritchard, the owner of Wakulla Gold Buyers, LLC. and Lighthouse Lady Cleaning Service, Inc. WCSO says the investigation began after the thefts of multiple bicycles from the Walmart in Crawfordville, during which a suspect was captured on surveillance video. Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division reviewed the video footage, took screenshots of the thief, and posted them to Facebook. With the assistance of Wakulla County citizens, the thief was identified. Detectives also identified three other individuals who assisted with the theft. WCSO says, during an interview, the suspects admitted to participation in these crimes and explained Sylvia Pritchard’s alleged role in the thefts. WCSO says, “The investigation revealed that this bicycle theft was not a “typical” retail theft; rather, it was one of multiple retail thefts committed by an organized cadre of thieves working in conjunction with one another on behalf of Sylvia Pritchard.
“During an investigation, detectives determined that Pritchard had organized the theft of numerous items from multiple businesses. Investigators say Pritchard would provide a “shopping list” of items to be stolen to one of multiple thieves, who would then steal the items and deliver them to Pritchard. Pritchard would allegedly determine what the retail price was for the stolen item by scanning the bar code with an app on her cellphone, then compensate the thieves in cash with half of what the retail price would have been for the stolen items. During her arrest, investigators also obtained a search warrant for Pritchard’s residence on Bettywood Circle in Crawfordville. During the search, investigators recovered and seized numerous items they say were obtained as part of the theft scheme, including four bicycles, a Disney Cinderella 24-volt kids electric car valued at $398, household supplies, pet food, portable electronic hardware, and personal hygiene products. Pritchard’s daughter, Starla Brooke Pritchard, was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for violation of probation. Richard is charged with one count of organized dealing in stolen property and three counts of dealing in stolen property, all felony charges. Pritchard and her daughter were both booked into the Wakulla County Jail. [Source: WCTV News]
Retail theft trio allegedly targeted retail stores
A 19-year-old Oakland Gardens NY woman, and two New York males who are considered juveniles by age, were arrested Monday and charged by North Coventry police with identity theft, theft by deception, and access device fraud after they allegedly used fraudulent credit cards to buy merchandise at the Kohl’s department store in Coventry Mall, West Schuylkill Road. A Kohl’s loss prevention team reported the alleged crimes to the police on Dec. 13, when the holiday shopping season was in full swing. It identified an Asian female, Fan Yang, and the juveniles – whose names were not released – as having used the Kohl’s cards to illegally obtain merchandise of significant value.
The police department website stated Yang allegedly purchased goods valued at about $409; one of the juveniles obtained merchandise valued at $1,129; and the second bought goods valued at about $485. The trio wasn’t caught in the township, however, or by township police. The three instead traveled to Warminster Township, Bucks County, and arrived at another Kohl’s. They were nabbed by Warminster police, the North Coventry department reported, and were arrested there on additional charges as well. [Source: Potts Town Post]
Walmart to close 63 Sam’s Club locations; lay off thousands
Walmart unexpectedly announced it is closing 63 Sam’s Club locations across the U.S., potentially impacting up to 11,000 workers, Business Insider reports. According to Business Insider, many employees were unaware of the store closures until showing up for shifts to closed stores with notices on the doors. Employees at other locations were sent away by police. “After a thorough review, it became clear we had built clubs in some locations that impacted other clubs, and where population had not grown as anticipated,” Sam’s Club CEO John Furner says in an email sent company-wide Jan. 11. “We will be closing some clubs, and we notified them today.” In his email, Furner says some of the closed locations will be turned into e-commerce fulfillment centers. Business Insider reports that employees whose positions were eliminated by store closures will have the opportunity to apply for jobs at the centers. The company didn’t say how many employees would be impacted by the closures.
[Source: Hardware Retailing]