Mt. Juliet, Tenn. – Three shoplifters were apprehended this afternoon after they ran out of JCPenney with over $2,000 in merchandise concealed under their clothes. Around 2:45 p.m., Mt. Juliet’s Police & Fire Communications Center received a call from JCPenney loss prevention because they were watching a group of three shoplifters concealing items under their regular clothing.
An undercover Mt. Juliet Crime Suppression Unit officer was in the Providence MarketPlace mall, and he was able to quickly establish surveillance to apprehend the thieves. Loss prevention was able to provide a detailed description of the shoplifters to officers, and they were apprehended as they ran from the store. In an attempt to conceal their thievery, the shoplifters hid the merchandise under their clothing. However, it was very obvious to officers, due to the amount of items stuffed under their clothing, that they were the thieves. $2,218 worth of childrens’ clothing, stolen from JCPenney, was recovered from the group and returned to JCPenney.
Further investigation revealed an additional $1,300 worth of unclaimed merchandise in their car. Those items were from Claire’s, Old Navy, and Children’s Place. Officers attempted to make contact with those area stores. However, they were unsuccessful in determining what store those items were stolen from.
Dereka Conway ($8,500 bond), 19, Rickeita Butler ($7,500 bond), 23, and Terra Braden ($7,000 bond), 18, all from Nashville, were arrested and booked into the Wilson County Jail, charged with Theft of Merchandise. They are all set to appear in court on June 25, 2015.
“Our strong-partnership with local merchants and strong-bond with loss prevention staff continues to pay off, and we successfully apprehended this group that was stealing from our community,” stated Chief James Hambrick. “Our department has zero tolerance for this type of activity, and we will continue to ensure efforts are made to prevent shoplifting.”