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ORC 1-19-15




Simpsonville, KY Police working a dozen theft cases from new outlet mall  Shoplifting at the new Simpsonville Outlet Mall is such a problem, police want extra officers and tougher penalties. Simpsonville Police are having to work closely with mall security to catch the suspects in the act and, recently, they've been successful. Three women almost got away with a trunk full of more than $10,000 dollars worth of stolen clothes, shoes and purses in late December. Chief Minnis says his officers are currently working a dozen shoplifting cases from the outlet mall, which has only been open about six months. He says it's really added to their case load. "It has been a learning experience. It has become a little bit of a strain to deal with because of the amount of dollars," he said. Because of all the shoplifting at the mall, he hopes to add a few extra officers to his five man department in the near future. While WDRB was at the mall shooting video for this story, our crew even saw it themselves. Our cameras caught some alleged thieves booking down the highway after running out of Saks OFF 5th with alarms sounding. Police say the two people got away with a couple thousand dollars worth of merchandise, but officers will likely be able to identify them later. Chief Minnis says The Shoppes have been cooperating with investigations and they've been able to identify persons of interest because of high quality surveillance video.

Police say 'Felony Lane Gang's' reach is wide
Belfast, Maine Police say they were alerted to the connection between a recently burglarized local vehicle and a multi-state theft ring known as the Felony Lane Gang due to the method of using outer drive-through lanes of banks in the crimes. "The checks [that were stolen from a vehicle in Belfast were deposited to an account in Portland," which is what led Portland Police to connect the two, according to Detective Bryan Cunningham. Although this might be the Felony Gang Lane's first crime directly linked to Belfast, accounts are more widespread. Recent news concerning the gang includes an article about the attempt by the Marion County Indiana Sheriff's Office to combat the "notorious criminal gang" using advanced criminal analytics. A Texas NBC affiliate reported the arrest of 16 members of the Florida based gang in June 2013. The arrest came after some of the members were captured after detectives reviewed video. Methods remain the same: Smash windows, steal purses and use contents to cash checks in the drive-thru lane of local banks. In the Plano, Texas, incident, a police spokesman said the entire crime, from smashing the window to stealing the purse, took approximately 10 seconds, according to published reports.

Flint, MI woman sentenced to 9 months for $2,000 theft from Kohl's
A Flint woman was sentenced Thursday to nine months in the Livingston County Jail for stealing from the Green Oak Township Kohl's store. Angela Marie Judd also was ordered to spend two years on probation. She can be released after six months in jail to an inpatient substance-abuse treatment program. If she successfully completes the program, the balance of jail time will be waived. Police said Judd and her brother, Jeromy Aaron Judd, came from Flint to the Green Oak Township store, where they stole more than $2,000 in merchandise and then ran to their car. Authorities said Angela Judd, however, got "into a fight" with the store's loss-prevention officer, whose finger was shut in the car door as the Judds tried to flee the scene. Jeromy Judd earlier was sentenced to one year in jail and two years of probation for first-degree retail fraud in connection with the case.

Washoe County, NV Deputies search for 2 men in Xbox Live scam
Washoe County deputies are still searching for two men suspected of using counterfeit coupons to get several years' worth of Microsoft Xbox Live membership accounts. Deputies responded to a call at about 7 p.m. on Jan. 3 of two men who used fake coupons to get free Xbox Live membership cards valued at $59.99 each at a Walgreens store near Mae Anne Avenue and North McCarran Boulevard. Witnesses told deputies that the men had said they had obtained the coupons by completing an online survey. "We believe they might use those coupons at other stores, so we want to bring them to justice before that happens," Washoe County Sheriff's Office spokesman Bob Harmon said Sunday. "(The cards) could be for their own use or they can turn around and sell it, but it's still too soon to figure that out," he said. Deputies had also responded to a call about two hours later of two men who used three coupons to buy three 12-month membership cards at a Walgreens store on the 9700 block of Pyramid Way in Spanish Springs. The suspects claimed they had won the coupons in a contest, authorities said in the news release.

Odd item targeted in retail thefts at PetSmart in North Coventry, PA
There are gentlemen thieves. There are jewel thieves. There are horse thieves. And then there is Abigail Elizabeth Luft. Luft, a Pottstown area woman, seems to have made it her particular specialty in the theft business to target pet deshedding tools, those implements that give dog and cat owners a chance to clean up their feline and canine friends, warding off hair balls and massive amounts of stray fur. On Friday in Common Pleas Court, Luft pleaded guilty to a single count of felony retail theft and agreed to repay more than $3,000 to the PetSmart store in the Town Square Shopping Center in North Coventry, where she repeatedly shoplifted multiple deshedding tools. Luft, 25, of Lower Pottsgove, was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in Chester County Prison by Judge James P. MacElree II as part of a plea agreement reached between Assistant District Attorney Ryan Borchik, who prosecuted the case, and defense attorney Brenda Jones of West Chester, representing Luft. Luft had told a Colebrookdale, Berks County, police officer investigating other retails thefts that she had taken dozens of the deshedding instruments from the PetSmart store, and taken them to the Cash Traders pawn shop in Pottstown where she sold them. She said she used the money she received to buy heroin.

Springfield, PA Police seeking ID for suspect in Walmart theft  Authorities are asking for help to identify a male suspect in a retail theft/assault at the Walmart Supercenter in the Marple Crossroads Shopping Center Jan. 15. According to police, the suspect allegedly stole computer items from the store, hiding them inside a backpack. When he was stopped by store security, he was brought into the security office. When security tried to retrieve the items, the suspect rushed the security officers, knocking them out of his way as he made his escape from the store, located at 400 S. State Road. The incident occurred shortly before 5:30 p.m.

ORC 1-19-15
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