Police arrested two male and two female juvenile suspects Sept. 1 for allegedly stealing $5,000 worth of merchandise—largely made up of Nike clothing—from a business in Los Angeles and threatening to use pepper spray on store security.
At about 10:20 a.m. Friday, four suspects entered a store on the 1600 block of West 7th Street—a few miles west of downtown Los Angeles in the Westlake District—and began taking products from shelves and putting them in bags to steal, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
When the group attempted to leave with the stolen items, store security confronted them. One of the young female suspects took out a can of pepper spray and said she would use it against security if they were stopped, according to police.
Police received a call from the store reporting an “Assault with a Deadly Weapon” and responded. After receiving information from store security about the suspects, officers located the group—which had fled with the stolen goods on foot—about a mile away near 8th Street and Union Avenue.
All four suspects, two of whom were identified as Demaree Anderson and George Thomas, initially ran from officers and hid in a nearby laundry room. The names of the juveniles were not released by authorities.
The four were ultimately arrested without further incident.
According to police, the city’s recently formed Organized Retail Theft Task Force—a collection of Los Angeles police agencies working collaboratively to address the growing number of retail thefts—responded and assisted in the investigation.
Police identified the male adults as 19 and 21 years old—both with prior arrests for similar crimes—and the two female suspects as 16-year-olds.
Mr. Anderson and Mr. Thomas were booked on robbery charges and their bails were both set at $50,000, according to police. The juvenile females were arrested and booked for robbery as well.
Anyone with information related to this incident is urged to call the Organized Retail Crime Task Force, at 818-374-9420. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or visit their website.