Troy, Canton, state police team up in two-day sting to stop retail fraud

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published February 12, 2020

File photo by Deb Jacques

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TROY — Officers from the Troy Police Department and the Michigan State Police Fraud Investigation Section, with help from the Canton Police Department, participated in a two-day blitz to stop shoplifters Jan. 28-29.

Troy police Sgt. Meghan Lehman explained that the Michigan State Police Fraud Investigation Section looks at the crimes from a “bigger vantage point — to stop larger, organized crime rings in the area — and connected with us because of the high number of retail stores and retail fraud in Troy. It went from there,” she said.

Loss prevention professionals from 13 stores were part of the effort, police said in a press release.

Police said the two-day blitz resulted in 27 retail crime-related charges:

• A 30-year-old Detroit man and a 30-year-old Detroit woman reportedly seen stealing at Victoria’s Secret, Dick’s Sporting Goods, JCPenney and Bath & Body Works at Oakland Mall were charged with multiple counts of second-degree retail fraud.

Police said the suspects, with the woman’s 7-year-old child in tow, were arrested with $736 in stolen merchandise in their possession. Police contacted Child Protective Services and continue to investigate.

• A 23-year-old Detroit man and a 19-year-old Eastpointe woman were reportedly seen selecting and concealing several dimmer switches at Home Depot, 1177 Coolidge Highway.

Police said they recovered $179 in merchandise from the female suspect and $119 in goods from the male suspect, as well as $850 worth of merchandise believed to have been stolen from another Home Depot store. The suspects were arrested and are awaiting arraignment on retail fraud charges.

• A 67-year-old Detroit woman was reportedly seen selecting and hiding merchandise at Oakland Mall’s Dick’s Sporting Goods. According to the release, when police tried to stop her, she drove away, only stopping when a police patrol car blocked her car.

Police said they recovered $190 in stolen merchandise, with security tags removed, on her person, including a pair of garden shears believed to have been used to remove security tags. Charges are pending.

• A 32-year-old Sterling Heights woman was reportedly seen selecting various Adidas merchandise at the Kohl’s store at 500 John R Road. Police said she fled the store, failing to pay for $130 in items. Police issued her a citation for shoplifting. Her arraignment is pending.

• An 18-year-old Detroit man was reportedly seen selecting and concealing $178 in merchandise at Oakland Mall’s JCPenney. Police said he also had two credit cards with someone else’s name in his possession. Police issued him a citation for shoplifting. He awaits arraignment.

• A 16-year-old Warren boy was reportedly seen selecting and concealing $180 worth of Nike merchandise at the Macy’s store at Oakland Mall. Police filed a juvenile petition and released him to his parents.

• A 23-year-old Oak Park man was reportedly seen selecting and concealing items at JCPenney. Police stopped him, arrested him on outstanding warrants and issued him a citation for two counts of retail fraud. He awaits arraignment.

• A 20-year-old Lathrup Village man was reportedly seen selecting and concealing $204 in merchandise, including Polo and Nike clothing, at Macy’s Oakland Mall store. Police said the suspect went into a fitting room and came out wearing the clothing. Police issued him a citation for retail fraud. He awaits arraignment.

The Troy Police Department thanked the Michigan State Police and the Canton Police Department for their partnership and dedication to curtailing retail crime.

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