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Illinois State Police trooper cracks large multi-state retail theft case
Two subjects arrested in connection with stolen goods valued at $63k

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[July 01, 2014]  LITCHFIELD - Illinois State Police (ISP) announced the arrest of two subjects wanted in connection with a large retail theft ring that stretched across state lines over the course of the last 18 months. The subjects were taken into custody during a routine ISP traffic stop that was initiated as a result of a speeding violation.

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 Missouri.

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.

An 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.


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