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Breaking News in the Industry: May 11, 2018

ORC suspects have orders to be deported

Clinton police are investigating a $10,000 shoplifting spree and they have arrested two suspects who they said have U.S. Immigration orders to be deported. Police arrested the two suspects at 5 p.m. Tuesday and said they are accused of being involved in organized retail theft in which around $10,000 worth of merchandise was taken from five stores from Clinton Crossing as well as other retail stores in Connecticut. Police said they received a call reporting the shoplifters were using “beater bags” and found suspects in a car. They had small tools to remove anti-theft devices and one suspect tried to punch an officer, according to police.  Authorities used a stun gun to take 30-year-old Manuel Antonio Gutierrez, of Washington, New York, into custody. The other suspect, identified as 55-year-old Francisco Pantoja, of Queens, New York, ran and was apprehended in the woods behind a home on Glenwood Road, police said. When police searched the car, they found clothing worth an estimated $10,000 Gutierrez was charged with assault on a police officer, interfering with a police officer, organized retail theft, larceny and conspiracy. Police said he was also wanted on a U.S. Immigration deportation order. Pantoja was charged with interfering with a police officer, organized retail theft, numerous counts of larceny and conspiracy. U.S. Immigration also wants him on a deportation order, police said.  [Source: NBC CT]

Shoplifting call leads to firearm, drug and vehicle theft arrest

A call to report a shoplifter at a grocery store led to the arrest of a Chico, California, man on a variety of charges, including theft, drugs and weapons charges. Chico Police arrested Douglas Lejk, a prior convicted felon, on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, receiving and possessing stolen property, felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, possession of suspected heroin and drug paraphernalia. Lejk was booked into the Butte County Jail. While answering a call about a reported shoplifter at Safeway on West Sacramento in Chico Wednesday afternoon at 4:20 p.m., police learned the suspect had fled the store with stolen merchandise in a Chevy Silverado pickup truck. The truck was previously reported stolen from the Chico Police Department. Responding officers made a high-risk traffic stop after locating the driver pulling into an apartment complex on Nord Avenue. Douglas Lejk, known to Chico Police for his prior arrests, was detained without incident. While searching the stolen vehicle police found a firearm that had been recently stolen from a vehicle in Chico. They also located what appeared to be heroin and other items leading to the charges against Lejk.   [Source: KRCR7 News]

Shoplifter threatens LP associate with scissors

In Connecticut, police detectives are investigating an incident Saturday in which a man who attempted to leave Marshall’s with a bin of stolen clothing threatened a loss prevention associate with scissors before running off. The man was observed at the department store around 4:30 p.m. collecting merchandise. He was then seen concealing the merchandise in a bin and hiding the container before leaving the store. About 15 minutes later the man returned, grabbed the bin and attempted to leave the store. A store loss prevention associate stopped him and a scuffle ensued. During the scuffle, the man’s shirt was ripped off, and police said he pulled out a pair of scissors and brandished them in a threatening manner. The man then ran off and was last seen running in the direction of Westport. A police K9 from Stamford was brought to the scene, but the man was not located. The value of the merchandise in the attempted theft was $1,065. The LP associate was uninjured. Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at 203.854.3011.    [Source: Greenwich Times]

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Woman tried to steal clothes, hygiene products from stores for the 24th time

A Decatur, Illinois, woman stands accused of attempting to steal from several stores in the city this year. Sworn statements from police say Walgreens caught Tamara Watkins, 45, putting bottles of body wash in a purse on March 21. Police say she took items carrying a total value of over $100 on March 24 from that store, then a bar of soap on March 25. On the afternoon of May 5, police say loss prevention associates caught Watkins stuffing Von Maur clothing into her waistband and trying to leave the store with it. They say the clothes had a cost of about $765. Police say Watkins lied to police about her name at first, then admitted she gave a fake name in the Von Maur theft. Watkins is charged with retail theft, burglary and obstructing identification. She has 23 convictions on her record for larceny, according to police.  [Source: WAND17 News]

Trooper justified in store shooting that left masked suspect dead

Lehigh County’s district attorney has ruled a Pennsylvania State Trooper was justified in using deadly force to stop a masked theft suspect who reportedly tried to shoot first. Aaron Ibrahem, of Berks County, was shot multiple times by Trooper Brian Bird on March 28 in the Walmart parking lot in Lower Macungie Township. Ibrahem died at the scene in a white van, with a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol in his lap, state police said. A total of seven projectiles were removed from his body, and his death was ruled a homicide. State police previously said the trooper who opened fire was a four-year state police veteran who just joined the Fogelsville barracks that week. On Wednesday, District Attorney Jim Martin identified Bird as the trooper, and said he was justified in using deadly force in the confrontation. State police previously said Ibrahem fired a shot at Bird, but the report on the incident reveals Ibrahem aimed the gun and pulled the trigger, but no round was fired. Bird shot nine times from his state police-issued .45-caliber handgun and mortally wounded Ibrahem, Martin said. Police said that night Ibrahem, in a red wig and mask, went into the store at 1091 Mill Creek Road in Lower Macungie Township. Ibrahem matched the description of a theft suspect in two previous shoplifting incidents at a Walmart in Schuylkill County, one on Dec. 22 and the other on March 15.

In the March 15th incident, the suspect pulled a handgun on a loss prevention associates. Ibrahem saw the trooper, abandoned the cart and tried to leave the store, when Bird confronted him and told him to stop, state police said. Ibrahem took off across the parking lot, while Bird repeatedly yelled for him to stop, authorities said. When Ibrahem got to the white van, he allegedly pulled the pistol out of his waistband and tried to fire it; Bird reported he heard a “click” noise. Ibrahem got into the van and closed the door, when Bird fired eight or nine times through the window and side door of the van, authorities said. “I thought I was going to die…he would have probably killed anybody else who was in his way as he tried to escape,” Bird said in his interview with investigators. Investigators said Ibrahem’s pistol had one round in the chamber and nine rounds in the ten-capacity magazine. Authorities believe Ibrahem manually loaded the pistol by pulling the slide before he died. The cartridges in the firearm did not have any pin impressions in the primers, state police said, so there was no cartridge in the chamber when Ibrahem tried to fire the pistol and Bird heard the “click” sound. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Ibrahem was mortally wounded; however, it is abundantly clear from the investigation that his actions in failing to comply with the commands of Trooper Bird and in pulling and pointing a gun at Bird and attempting to fire at him, brought about his being shot and killed,” Martin wrote in his report.   [Source: LehighValleyLive]

These four people did not hit the Vegas jackpot, and now they’re in jail

Mario Ernesto Perez, Alain Hurtado Gonzalez, Daynay Perez and Inés Rodriguez drove in a rental car for almost two days, covering the more than 2,500 miles from Florida to Nevada. Then, authorities said, they used several counterfeit credit cards to make purchases in luxury stores. The date was Sept. 12, 2014, and police say they bought expensive handbags, watches and glasses for more than $23,654, which they sent by mail to an address in Miami. The authorities tracked the packages and discovered that all the expensive purchases had been purchased with several credit cards in the name of other people, according to court documents. It was not the first time that the band traveled to Vegas. They had already made trips in March, April and May 2013 using several fake credit cards, according to the court papers. The four were charged in federal court in Miami with identity theft and fraud, charges that could be sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison. The four pleaded guilty. This week, Daynay Pérez was sentenced to 28 months in prison, and Alain Hurtado and Mario Ernesto Pérez to 16 months in prison. Inés Rodríguez had already been sentenced in 2016 to three years of probation. Everyone will have to pay back the $23,654.   [Source: Miami Herald]

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