You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – January 2019

A collection of odd and whacky news stories that caught the Loss Prevention Media staff's attention

Now that’s a smash and grab!

An alleged shoplifter fled a Dollar Tree in Fort Worth, Texas, after her boyfriend drove a van through the front door last week. The wild ordeal unfolded after loss prevention associates confronted three suspects, two women and one man, for trying to steal candy and other goods from the store, police said. The LP associates detained one of the women and her boyfriend reportedly flipped out.

“Let her go! If you don’t let her go, I’ll come in and get her,” he said before getting in his van and crashing it through the front door of the store, witnesses told police. The girlfriend then jumped into the car and couple fled the scene, police said. Employees of the Dollar Tree told Fox 4 the car crashing into the store sounded like an explosion. “We didn’t think he was coming in with a car,” a worker said. “We just thought he was coming back in there to get her, but he fooled us. He came in there with a van.” No one was injured.   [Source: New York Post]

Shoplifter makes a tactical error; runs into police department

An alleged shoplifter made “a tactical error,” Cincinnati police said, running straight from the store he allegedly stole from to the police department next door. Jeremy Roberts, 24, faces charges of theft and obstruction of official business.

According to police, an off-duty officer encountered a man leaving the Walmart in Westwood around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. That man concealed $125.73 worth of stolen merchandise in his backpack as he walked out of the store, officials said. As the officer attempted to stop the man, he ran away.

The man ran directly to the rear of the Cincinnati Police Department’s District 3 station, police said, where he was “greeted by numerous officers.” The man, later identified as Roberts, was quickly taken into custody, police said.   [Source: WLWT5 News]

Dropped cell phone helps PD identify shoplifter

A cell phone dropped in the parking lot of a Greensburg, Pennsylvania, grocery store Sunday during an altercation between a loss prevention associate and an alleged shoplifter helped lead city police to a suspect. Police obtained an arrest warrant for Patrick Dominique Davis, 31, a Greensburg man accused of getting into a fight with a store LP associate who stopped Davis as he allegedly attempted to leave the Shop ‘n Save without paying for 14 cases of soda.

According to court papers, the LP associate suffered a minor injury to his hand during the altercation. McNamara reported the associate stopped Davis outside the store after he wheeled a shopping cart containing $80 worth of Mountain Dew and Pepsi out of the store, bypassing the cash registers.

Davis was identified after he dropped his phone as he ran away without the soda. The associate retrieved the phone and turned it over to police. Shortly afterward, patrolman Garret McNamara reported in a criminal complaint, “I received a call from a male, Michael Penn, who inquired why I had his brother, Patrick Davis’, phone.” McNamara said Davis also was identified through store security photographs. He is charged with attempted robbery, simple assault, harassment and retail theft.  [Source: Trib Live]

Man arrested after he tried to activate stolen iPhone

A Montana man is accused of stealing an iPhone X from a local wireless store, and then returning to the same store two days later to attempt to activate the phone. According to the Montana Standard, employees recognized the man, took the phone back, and called police. He was arrested a few weeks later when police saw him “yelling and screaming” on an area street.   [Source: AppleInsider]

Shoplifter takes a taxi to take laptops… twice

Authorities said they arrested a New Jersey man for shoplifting after he returned to the scene of the crime via taxi the very next day. Bethlehem Township police were dispatched to the Best Buy after loss prevention associates reported seeing an alleged shoplifter, who had been in the store a day earlier. The man later identified as Brody Bodine Crowley allegedly walked out of the store with three laptops, a magnetic Apple charger and an iPad case worth about $930, according to court records.

Loss prevention said they spotted him again wearing the exact outfit as the day before. Authorities detained the 26-year-old and reviewed surveillance video allegedly showing him walking out the door with the unpaid merchandise, according to records.

Waiting outside for Crowley was a taxi service that drove him to the Best Buy. The driver told police that she had driven Crowley the day before to a Walmart in Lower Nazareth Township and the Best Buy. After he finished “shopping,” she drove him to a pawn shop in Easton.

The loss prevention team continued to review surveillance footage to see if Crowley allegedly stole additional items. Bethlehem Township police also discovered two arrest warrants for Crowley out of New Jersey, one for burglary in Hunterdon County and one for a probation violation in Somerset County.

Crowley, of Alpha in Warren County, was arraigned on single counts of shoplifting and receiving stolen property along with the outstanding warrants. He failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing”     [Source: WFMZ65 News]

Stolen purple penguin returned

A large purple penguin statue that was swiped from a hotel in Oklahoma City apparently managed to waddle back home after police released surveillance camera images of a man with the $3,000 piece of art tucked under his arm. Oklahoma City police on Friday announced that the statue, which disappeared Sunday night from the 21c Museum Hotel, had been “returned home.” No arrests have been announced.   [Source: Yakima-Herald]

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