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Police Arrest Duo in Thefts of Clothing Worth Thousands

Two men were arrested in August on charges of shoplifting thousands of dollars worth of clothing from Belk at Georgia Square mall. And while Athens-Clarke police detectives said they could find no direct link between the men — who were arrested on separate days — “it is believed that the subjects were sent to steal specific, high-end items.”

The person who might have collaborated in the thefts was not identified. Police said close cooperation with store employees resulted in the arrests. “Property crimes detectives work closely with our business stakeholders to minimize their losses through thefts, and this arrest and suspect identification was an example of our close working relationship,” Detective Nathaniel Franco said Tuesday.

One suspect, Anthony Eugene Stafford, 53, of Athens, was arrested August 21 after store security called Franco to alert him of a man leaving the store with clothing valued at $1,639.

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Franco approached Stafford and reported he could see the anti-theft sensors still attached to the clothing. After Stafford’s arrest, police said he was linked to a shoplifting Aug. 20 in which police said $5,200 worth of clothing was stolen during two occasions, according to the report. Stafford indicated to detectives that he sold these clothes on the same day he stole them, according to Franco. Stafford had targeted clothing produced by Polo and Ralph Lauren, according to the report.

In the other case August 23, the suspect resisted arrest when confronted by a police officer dispatched to the store after a store employee observed him “shoving merchandise into a plastic bag.”

Gerald Dunn, 55, of Greene County, gave addresses in Greensboro and Union Point, according to police and jail records. When an officer approached Dunn as he tried to exit the mall, he resisted being detained, police said. Police resorted to using a Taser, but it proved ineffective, police said. “He made it clear that he would not comply with our commands,” an officer reported.

When other officers arrived, they were able to force Dunn to the floor, causing some injuries to his mouth and head, according to the report. Police found a wire cutter in his pocket and discovered that the security tags were removed from the approximately $629 worth of Polo clothing in his possession, according to the report. Police examined Dunn’s 72-page criminal history and determined he had more than three shoplifting convictions.

Dunn was charged with felony shoplifting, possession of tools for a crime and obstruction. He was released from custody on a $13,950 bond. Stafford remained in the Clarke County Jail without bond on a probation violation and a warrant out of Oconee County…  Online Athens

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