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Breaking News in the Industry: January 18, 2018

Employee under-rang merchandise for two retail theft suspects

Police have charged a juvenile Walmart employee and a woman with retail theft following an investigation that began in November in Carlisle. Officers were dispatched to the store at 60 Noble Boulevard on Nov. 30 for a report of a retail theft. The investigation determined an employee had been under-ringing merchandise for two women over the course of a two-month period, according to police. Police said one of the women, identified as Candice Panell, also used the self-checkout registers and didn’t scan all of her merchandise on separate occasions. Police have charged Panell with two misdemeanor counts of retail theft, while a felony charge of retail theft was filed against the juvenile employee through Cumberland County Juvenile Probation. Police are trying to identify the other woman involved, and have provided a surveillance photo of her.  [Source: Penn Live]

Shoplifting suspect apprehended after chase in Kentucky

A Paducah, Kentucky, man was taken into custody after a resident helped police nab the suspect. According to the sheriff’s office, Christopher Fontana, 20, was accused of taking a soda and pocketknife from Pocket’s Gas Station in the 5100 block of Cairo Rd. Fontana was approached by an employee as he got into the passenger seat of a car outside. The employee tried to copy down the man’s license plate number when Fontana allegedly lunged at the employee and grabbed her wrist and pushed her. Chris Hardy witnessed the incident and came to the aid to the employee chasing Fontana after he jumped a fence near I-24. Hardy assisted deputies as they took Fontana into custody. Fontana faces shoplifting charges.  [Source: KSVF12 News]

Canadian man sentenced to more than five months for credit card fraud

A Penticton man who went on an unauthorized spending spree with someone else’s credit cards will spend a total of 167 days in prison for his crimes. Richard James Meier entered guilty pleas to fraud of $5,000 and under, possession of stolen property under $5,000, in Penticton court yesterday, Jan. 15. Crown Prosecutor John Swanson told court Penticton RCMP were called by a Penticton resident reporting her purse missing while at The Bay on July 10, 2016. Upon her return home she had telephone messages from Visa that someone was attempting to use her credit card. Her Mastercard was also reported to be in unauthorized use. Police investigating the matter discovered the Mastercard had been used for at least six different transactions at various locations, totaling around $700. The Visa card was used for around $100 in charges.

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Swanson asked Judge Gale Sinclair for a sentence of five months for the frauds, in addition to 45 days for two Surrey-based probation breaches. Defence lawyer Michael Patterson said his client’s long criminal history was all drug related. He said Meier had been in and out of drug treatment facilities, but wanted to try once again. Judge Sinclair pronounced a sentence totaling 152 days for the counts of fraud and possession of stolen property, along with an additional 15 days for the Surrey breaches. With credit for enhanced time served, Meier has 21 days left in his jail sentence, after which he will face a two year probationary period where he will not be allowed to consume drugs or alcohol, or have in his possession any credit cards other than his own. He is also expected to make restitution totaling $801.82 to Visa and Mastercard. [Source: INFOnews]

Shoplifter pulls knife on officer, Good Samaritan comes to aid

A concerned citizen came to the aid of police after a shoplifter pulled a knife on an Oak Creek, Wisconsin, police officer during a physical struggle. Oak Creek police responded to the Woodman’s at 8131 S. Howell Ave. just before 5 p.m. on Jan. 6 on a report of a man in the store who had stolen items in the past. According to reports, the man, described as a man in his late 20s with a brown Carhartt jacket entered the store and was recognized by the store’s loss prevention manager from theft incidents from Jan. 2 and Jan. 5. Reports indicate that the loss prevention associate watched the man walk through the store, placing items into a cart while also hiding more items in his coat. He walked out of the store and tried running away… only to be caught by an Oak Creek police officer who was waiting inside the store. Reports state that the man resisted arrest, and the officer took the man to the ground. During the ensuing struggle, police say the man pulled out a pocket knife on the officer, only to drop it during the struggle. A concerned citizen then ran up and kicked the knife away from him. According to reports, the officer pulled out his taser and trained it on the man, at which point he calmed down and allowed himself to be arrested. During the course of the arrest, officers say they found tools on the man that were used for cooking and injecting heroin. The total amount of the theft was $126.47, according to reports. Police say they are going to seek three charges of retail theft, disorderly conduct while armed and resisting an officer. [Source: Oak Creek Patch]

Suspects in shoplifting case face three felony charges after wild car chase

Two shoplifting suspects who fled Sunday from police were charged with three felonies, according to the Belton Police Department. Travon Green, 21, and Erica L. Foster, 28, allegedly stole nearly $2,700 in merchandise from Kohl’s in Belton, Missouri, shortly before 2 p.m. then led police on a wild chase. that ended in the 6000 block of East 86th Street in Kansas City, Mo. According to a probable-cause statement from Belton police, a loss-prevention employee at Kohl’s called police, anticipating an attempted theft as Green and Foster loaded carts with merchandise — including a hoverboard, Nike hats and shoes, baby clothes and assorted other items that were recovered from the car after the chase. Most of the stolen items were abandoned in carts in the Kohl’s parking lot after responding officers attempted to stop Green and Foster, as they entered a tan 2002 Ford Focus in the parking lot after leaving the store without paying for the two filled carts. A Belton police officer ordered Green, who was already in the car, to put up his hands and opened the car door to take him into custody. Instead, Green turned on the ignition and put the car into gear as the officer grabbed him in an attempt to prevent him from fleeing. Green then accelerated, forcing the officer to let go of the suspect before being dragged or pinned between the patrol car and the fleeing vehicle. Green later admitted to having an outstanding warrant for missing a court appearance in a domestic assault that involved Foster, citing that as the reason he fled, according to court records. Attempting to elude Belton police, Green, with Foster also in the car, drove north on Interstate 49 at speeds reaching nearly 90 mph.

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The suspects then took Freemont Avenue north to East 86th Street, which dead ends in both directions. The suspects tried to cut through some yards before they stopped and were taken into custody. Police recovered more than $775 worth of merchandise from the suspect’s vehicle. There was an additional $885 in merchandise in Green’s cart and nearly $1,030 in stolen goods in Foster’s cart, both of which were recovered in the Kohl’s parking lot. Belton police announced Monday that Green and Foster, both from Kansas City, Mo., each were charged in Cass County Circuit Court with one count of stealing (more than $750), a class D felony; one count of second-degree assault of a special victim (the Belton police officer), a class B felony; and one count of resisting arrest by fleeing (creating a substantial risk of serious injury or death), a class E felony. Both Green and Foster remained in Cass County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.  [Source: The Kansas City Star]

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