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Breaking News in the Industry: May 22, 2018

Store catches group on camera stuffing stolen items into their pants [Viral Video]

A group of men in Texas were caught on camera stuffing more than $1,000 worth of clothes into their pants at a Nederland industrial store. “It’s very discouraging for someone to come and take your stuff like that,” said Teresa Figueroa, wife of the small business owner. The not-so-sneaky shoplifters are now caught on camera stuffing their pants with over $1,000 worth of refinery work clothing. “I found out they come back and forth multiple times taking clothes,” said Juan Carlos Figueroa, who has been owner of JC’s Industrial Wear for several years.

He says theft is rare in his area on the 800 block of US 69 in Nederland. “My husband had a dream for years to have a place like this,” said Teresa. “It’s very hard because we have to go do our regular jobs as well,” she explains. The group ripped off the tags then jammed clothes in their own pants. “It’s like they just came in and knew what they were looking for,” Juan Carlos said. The owners say incidents like this are discouraging for those who own small business. “I’m going to take a loss that’s going to take a long time to recover,” Juan Carlos explains.

He says he’s now working even harder to recover the thousand of dollars in merchandise lost, and hopes the community recognizes one of these individuals to stop this group of thieves from doing this again. “I can’t believe these people, especially if they work in an industry where I know they can afford to buy this,” Juan Carlos explains. Investigators with the Nederland Police Department are asking for your help. If you recognize any of the men in the video, you can call Crime Stoppers at 409.833.TIPS.  [Source: 12News Now]

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Thief stole pens, Steelers gear worth thousands

Cranberry , Pennsylvania, police say a man accused of stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of sports merchandise from a Walmart knew what he was doing, because it wasn’t his first time. In fact, according to police and court records, Frank Novak has been stealing from stores for quite a while, and they arrested him again. On one “shopping trip” to the Cranberry Township Walmart, police say he stole $2,200 in sports gear, another time $4,600. How did he get all that gear of the store? Police say he stuffed it in a trashcan that he also stole.

“That’s crazy. We work hard for our money and for someone to just go in there and steal, that’s just not right,” said shopper Niki Wells. Police believe Novak hit the Walmart three times: once in November, twice in January. After consulting with Pittsburgh police, they realized he was a repeat offender with the same modus operandi. Novak’s prior criminal history, and court documents show he has at least nine arrests for retail theft in Allegheny County since 2009. “He would take the stuff and sell it down in the city at the major sports events,” said Cranberry Township Sgt. Chuck Mascellino. According to police paperwork, Novak was working with a female who was the driver. They continue to search for her.   [Source: WPXI11 News]

Employee accused of stealing from sandwich shop

Wisconsin police are seeking theft charges through the Ozaukee County District Attorney’s Office against a 27-year-old Milwaukee man who allegedly embezzled $600 from Jimmy John’s, 11525 N. Port Washington Road, while he worked there in March and April. According to police, the man was arrested at 2:01 p.m. May 2 after a customer reported seeing him take money from a register on April 30. Police said he averaged two thefts a week of $20 to $30 each. Police are also investigating whether he took money from another Jimmy John’s location in Germantown, where he had worked previously.    [Source: Journal-Sentinel]

Couple faces charges in brazen iPhone robberies, deputies say

Deputies have arrested a man and woman in connection with a series of smash-and-grab thefts from mobile phone stores in Florida. Wanesha Grant, 26, and Rodney Stephens, 26, each face a charge of theft of more than $300. Deputies said Grant and Stephen worked as a team last month to steal four iPhones from a Sprint store in Deerfield Beach. According to the arrest report, the couple forcibly ripped the devices from their anti-theft restraints.  The theft activated the store’s alarms to sound, causing Grant and Stephens to flee the store, the report said.

A witness and a store employee followed and saw Grant and Stephens drive away in a silver Toyota Corolla, deputies said. While investigating the Sprint store theft, deputies discovered a pair matching Grant and Stephens’ descriptions were suspected of stealing phones from a Verizon Wireless store in Deerfield, and two other Sprint stores in Pompano Beach and Orlando. The stores’ security cameras filmed all of the incidents, deputies said.

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Grant and Stephens were arrested Monday after a deputy recognized Grant when she left her apartment in Deerfield Beach. Grant is currently being held at North Broward Bureau Jail in Pompano Beach on more than $25,000 bond. Stephens is currently being held at the Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale on $2,000 bond.  [Source: ABC10 Local News]

Shoplifting crew charged with felonies

Four women were charged with felony theft for allegedly stealing about $1,162 worth of merchandise April 28 from Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan, Minnesota. A loss prevention associate from a prior Twin Cities Organized Retail Crime Association alert allegedly recognized them. Court records show the women charged have multiple theft convictions in Minnesota. Eagan officers responded to a report April 28 at Twin Cities Premium Outlets of four women concealing merchandise in the store. According to the criminal complaint, loss prevention associates stopped four women before they could enter the women’s restroom.

After the associates said the women were being stopped for a shoplifting complaint, the females denied the accusation and accused the store employees of being racist. Police officers reviewed surveillance footage, which showed the women concealing clothing in bags and inside their clothing, before passing all points of sale and exiting the store. It appeared that one woman was speaking to an employee at the same time another was placing merchandise up her shirt. Each woman was found with at least $104 up to $383 worth of stolen merchandise in their possession. Kianna Renee Radcliffe-Alexander, 28, of Minneapolis; Latricia Shimira Pettis, 26, of Richfield; Catrice Dominique Cheers, 29, of St. Louis Park; and Kenya Marie Radcliffe-Alexander, 27, of Minneapolis were all charged with felony theft (aggregating)(over $1,000 up to $5,000).

The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Pettis was allegedly found with a magnetic anti-theft detacher tool. The charge of possession of shoplifting gear has a maximum penalty of three years in jail and a $1,500 fine.   [Source: Sun This Week]

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Suspect in motorized wheelchair / shopping cart accused of shoplifting

Murfreesboro , Tennessee, police were called to Walmart on Old Fort Parkway in reference to an attempted theft. Once on the scene, they learned that a woman in a motorized shopping cart was observed driving through the store concealing items while operating the chair.

During a confrontation between the women and a Walmart employee, one of the two females stated, “We weren’t even stealing when we came in.” The alleged items that were reportedly collected inside the store were returned. At that point, the women were asked to leave. 

The female who was not in the motorized shopping cart allegedly stated to the Walmart employee, “You’re dead if I see you on the streets.”

After the reported threat was made, the women walked to a parked Volvo and drove away as one threw a glass bottle towards the Walmart worker. The black Volvo had a temporary tag on the back, so no license number could be obtained and no arrest was made.    [Source: WGNS Radio]

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