Criminal shoplifting team caught, arrested

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Peachtree City police continue to be on the lookout for teams of criminals looking to loot local retail stores.

The most recent such incident took place May 1 when three women were pulled over by Fayette County deputies on Hwy. 138 between Fayetteville and Riverdale after leaving Peachtree City with thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise. One report estimated the total value at more than $8,000 taken from two stores in Fayette and Coweta counties.

Two of the suspects were seen exiting the Lululemon store in Peachtree City with large bags full of stolen items. A nearby citizen spotted the activity and recorded it on her phone before alerting authorities.

A feeble attempt to cover the license plate with a piece of paper was nowhere near good enough for police with high-tech tag readers that identify vehicles in seconds. The paper fell down and revealed the car’s license number anyway.

Shaquita Thomas, 24, of Atlanta was arrested for felony theft by shoplifting, obstruction of an officer and giving a false name to an officer. Tamiah Andrews, 21, of Riverdale faces the same charges. Both are being held without bond and are suspects in other similar robberies in the metro Atlanta area.

Nautica Smith, 25, of McDonough also was charged with felony shoplifting but was released on bond, having no prior criminal history.

This incident took place almost one year to the day after an almost-identical crime at Lululemon that resulted in four men being taken into custody. In that case, concerned citizens witnessed the event and recorded some of it on their phones, which helped police track them down soon after they left the premises. Their stolen car was quickly surrounded by law enforcement in a nearby parking lot and they were arrested.

Police recovered about $7,000 worth of merchandise that day, according to reports.

Investigators in the aftermath of the April 25, 2023 incident found some resistance from corporate officials of the victimized stores to even get involved, but they eventually chose to cooperate.

5 COMMENTS

  1. When corporate officials won’t prosecute shoplifting, they are just inviting it to continue to happen in our community and bringing danger to our citizens who shop in these areas. Maybe the Avenue and other shopping centers should cancel the lease for stores who promote theft by refusing to prosecute. Thank you PTC police for being persistent with them.