OMAHA, NE – 7 different suspects were arrested while allegedly shoplifting from 5 different stores in a 3-hour span this past week.
Lt. Charles Casey works for the burglary unit for the Omaha Police Department (OPD). This week he made a public announcement after detectives arrested 7 different shoplifting suspects on Monday.
He said, this past year, the city of Omaha, along with the Police Department, has organized a special operations program aimed to arrest shoplifters caught in the act.
Casey also noted that his unit is taking this duty very seriously. He also pointed to the importance of such a program as the holiday season beings.
The whole shoplifting spree took place in a four-hour time frame. Among the targeted stores Target, Walmart, and the Von Maur store at the Westroads Mall.
Detectives don’t believe the suspects worked together and they determined the shoplifting events were separate cases. However, several suspects targeted the same stores.
Out of the 7 people arrested this Monday afternoon, the employees at an Omaha Target store flagged 2 of the suspects.
Annilee Gentry, 37, and Aniyah William-Smith, 18, were both spotted having suspicious behavior at the 72nd and Dodge Street Target. Both of them attempted to steal and were arrested in a two-hour span.
About an hour earlier, Kody Johnson, 21, and Angela Lilland, 27, were also flagged down by store staff at the Walmart on 50th Street and Ames Avenue. Both of them tried to leave with several unpaid items in their hands.
Upon their arrest, the authorities found a hidden knife on Johnson.
Meanwhile, shortly before 5 p.m., OPD stopped Makeasha Deramus, 24, at another Walmart store. He was allegedly trying to leave with unpaid food in the 72nd and Pine Street area.
The other two suspects arrested were Jerry Lewis Staten, 51, and Kellie Aunkst, 30. Staten was spotted swiping items by North Saddle Creek Road, while Aunkst was arrested for trying to steal clothing items at the Westroads Mall.
OPD declared that both suspects had notable separate warrants.
Casey acknowledged the important role store employees played in catching all these suspects. He also credited their good communication line with the OPD.
“They do have good teams of personnel. They know what to look for. They, again, are stores that routinely communicate with us. They do a good job, so it’s not surprising that they’re identifying what’s going on,” he said.
He also noted the importance of reporting shoplifters and getting them into custody.
“We see that as positive — that we’re identifying the right people who are stealing, we’re getting them in custody, and sending them to court to be held responsible for their actions,” Casey declared.