Store hit with three retail frauds over weekend

By Sue Suchyta

Sunday Times Newspapers

    ALLEN PARK – Local police and store loss prevention officers at Meijer, 3565 Fairlane Drive, reported three cases of retail fraud last weekend. Reports indicate the subjects left the store without paying for merchandise.

    Officials said that about midnight Aug. 22, loss prevention officers observed a white female with blond hair and a black man in a black T-shirt in the media department. The man concealed Blu-ray discs down the front of his shirt and waistband.

    Police said the woman exited the store through the doors by the cart storage area while the man went through the cart tunnel.

    When loss prevention officers identified themselves, the man charged one of them with a cart. The woman entered a white van with blue trim, which then left the lot and headed toward Outer Drive. The van stopped to pick up the man at the bottom of the hill.

    Police then observed a man matching the description running down the hill and entering a van at Fairlane and Outer Drive. His clothing was bulky and appeared to be concealing something, they said.

    Police then approached and detained the subjects for identification by loss prevention officers.

    A search of the van turned up Blu-ray discs and DVDs under the back seat, where the man had been seated.

    The man and the woman were taken to the police station, booked and held without bond. The driver was interviewed on scene and released. The 1996 white Ford E-150 van was impounded.

    At 4:35 p.m. Aug. 23, a white woman met up with an unidentified white man, who placed items in her cart. Employees then saw her pull store bags from her pocket and place items in them to create the illusion she had paid for them.

    The subject then went through the self-checkout and headed for the general merchandise doors past all points of purchase without paying for the items in her cart. Employees then approached her and escorted her to the office.

    The woman had about $270 worth of items in her cart, including children’s clothing, groceries; health and beauty items; and home décor purchases. She told an officer on the scene she made a mistake and that she did it because she could not afford her rent.

    The woman was arrested for second degree retail fraud, handcuffed and transported to the police station, where she was processed and held without bond awaiting the Detective Bureau review.

    At 8:46 p.m. Aug. 23, a woman placed dog clothes inside a store bag in her cart. She also placed dog leashes and shampoo under her purse and put additional items in the cart’s baby seat.

    The woman then went to the self-checkout to purchase a bottle of barbeque sauce. She then went to the service desk and got a scanning award because she was overcharged for the item.

    A loss prevention officer then approached her at the grocery door when she had passed all possible points of purchase and escorted her to the loss prevention office. Employees said the woman attempted to remove $53 worth of items from her cart.

    The woman said she had forgotten about the items she concealed in the store bags she had returned empty cans in, as well as the items she placed under her purse.

    She was arrested for retail fraud and held on $300 bond.