On June 24, 2014, at approximately 6:15 p.m., an ISP District 18
Trooper conducted a traffic stop on a black 2014 Ford Fusion for
speeding on I-55 southbound near milepost 66. After speaking with
the vehicle’s two occupants, the officer learned the pair was en
route to St. Louis, MO from Springfield, IL. The driver indicated
she did not have any identification in the vehicle, but provided the
officer with her identifying information.
The trooper further examined the information and determined that the
information was false. The trooper was able to uncover the driver’s
true identify (Shawn Thomas, 51, of St. Louis, MO) which revealed
she did not possess a valid driver’s license and had an outstanding
warrant for a parole violation in Illinois and another for Felony
Theft out of Missouri.
It was also revealed that the passenger, LaTonya N. Jackson, 34,
of St. Louis, MO, had an outstanding warrant in Illinois for
Criminal Damage to Property and a warrant for Felony Stealing from
The trooper learned the vehicle was a rental car and neither
subject was authorized to be in possession of the vehicle.
Additionally, the trooper discovered the vehicle was wanted in
connection with a recent theft committed at a major department store
by two subjects fitting Thomas and Jackson’s descriptions. According
to information gathered by the trooper, Thomas and Jackson fled a
Marion, IL department store in a similar vehicle after resisting
detention by store personnel.
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Thomas and Jackson are suspected of organizing a large retail theft
ring that has been in operation for approximately 18 months. The
Marion, IL department store alone estimates its losses as a result
of the illegal theft operation at approximately $63,000.
inventory of the vehicle revealed several large garbage and
department store bags containing miscellaneous retail merchandise
with department store tags still attached. Also located in the
vehicle were numerous keys similar to those used to lock department
store display cases, side cutters, department store UPC stickers and
a container of OC spray. The total amount of stolen merchandise
recovered from the vehicle was approximately $6,500.
“This trooper’s keen instincts told him something was just not
right with the traffic stop,” said District 18 Captain Joseph
Kollins. “Thanks to the officer’s training and persistence, a large
retail theft operation has been dismantled and some of the stolen
merchandise has been recovered,” added Kollins.
In addition to their warrants, Thomas and Jackson were arrested and
charged with Possession of Stolen Property and Felony Theft. Both
subjects were incarcerated at the Montgomery County Jail.
Anyone with information related to this retail theft operation
should contact ISP District 18 at 217-324-4900.
[Text received; ILLINOIS STATE