Holidays mean thieves are showing up at the mall

JONESBORO, Ark. – If Santa is keeping a list of who is naughty and nice, the naughty list is getting longer from criminal activity at The Mall at Turtle Creek.

On Friday, Jonesboro Police Officer Tanner Middlecoff was working security inside Dillard’s at The Mall when a suspect, Michael Wilson, 43, of Marked Tree, was seen acting suspicious. The man would look around near a clothing rack, bend over, and appear to conceal merchandise on himself. As Middlecoff approached the man, he appeared to dump the goods and immediately became defensive. He even pulled out a wad of cash, saying he could pay for the items.

After a short interview, the man said that was actually cash for his wife’s car payment. He fessed up to police, the report said. Wilson was arrested for shoplifting $136.71 worth of clothing and taken to Craighead County Detention Center.

But others continued the illicit behavior at the mall throughout the weekend.

Two females were arrested Friday for allegedly trying to return stolen property to Gearhead Outfitters in the mall. They reportedly wanted gift cards for returning the merchandise but the property still showed as under inventory from Gearhead stores. One of the items was stolen from the downtown Gearhead store, Main Street in Jonesboro, while a Patagonia jacket was stolen from the mall store.

Police spoke with the suspect, Carmyn Ballin, 18, of Blytheville, who said her boyfriend had given her the items Wednesday night. She was not arrested because of the difficulty in establishing who took the items.

JPD regularly stations officers inside of the mall, especially during the holidays, to work with security staff to prevent theft and crime.

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