Four teenage girls between 14 and 17 years old pushed carts filled with stolen goods out the front door of the Lathrop Target store two days in a row, according to Lt. James Hood of the Lathrop Police Services.
It was the same time – about 10:30 a.m. – when the store’s loss prevention officers noticed what was happening again. On Thursday they had over an estimated $2,000 worth of goods in two shopping carts, deputies said.
They returned Friday after fleeing the day before after one of the girls brandished a taser at loss prevention officers causing them to back off. They had left the carts in the parking lot but took the two bags with them before disappearing from sight.
Apparently thinking they had learned from their mistakes, they returned the next day with two of them browsing through the store again with shopping bags and the other two commandeering shopping carts.
The store loss prevention staffers called police to say the teens had returned to the store. Lt. Hood positioned his unmarked unit in front of Target and assigned three patrol cars to the rear of the store with Sgt. Steve Lindeman in the lead. Officers intercepted the girls and took them into custody as other deputies in the team found the remaining two inside Target with their shopping bags filled.
Lt. Hood ordered the girls to the ground and took them into custody, one was heard to say. “What did you expect me to do, pay for this with my birthday money – that’s not gonna happen.”
A motel room key was found on one of the teens. The officers drove to the motel and checked out the room and found there were adjoining rooms with the mother and her boyfriend living in one and the girls living in the other. Deputies reportedly uncovered additional property that had apparently been taken from another Target Store.
The teens were booked into Mary Graham Juvenile Hall charged with armed robbery, because of the taser assault along with conspiracy. Lathrop detectives are continuing their investigation, wanting to determine if other Target stores had been the focus of other illegal shopping tours by the teens. Lt. Hood congratulated his deputies for their successful team effort.