|Suspected thieves nabbed at Fred Meyer|
|Written by Scott Graves, Pilot staff writer|
|April 19, 2013 08:33 pm|
Brookings Police arrested four Crescent City residents Tuesday after they allegedly used a stolen credit card to try and purchase more than $1,000 worth of merchandise at the Brookings Fred Meyer store.
The suspects also face other charges including from possession of drugs, concealed weapons, identity theft and parole violation, said Brookings Police Det. Tyler McCourt.
“One of the suspects was pushing a grocery cart around while the others were loading it up with stuff — it’s a sign that they might be getting ready to run or use a stolen credit card,” McCourt said Friday.
Arrested were Brenda Hess, 30; Dennie Sanderson, 26; Michael Loftin, 30; and Theresa Gokey, 40.
Police dispatch received a call at 9:30 a.m. from Fred Meyer personnel about the suspects, who reportedly used a credit card to purchase a GPS device at the electronics department and then went on a shopping spree through the rest of the store, McCourt said.
Store security and McCourt, who was in plain clothes, kept an eye on the suspects, while another Brookings Police Officer waited outside.
At one point, three of the four suspects left the store and went to a vehicle, which they drove to another part of the parking lot. Police checked the license plate of the vehicle and learned that it belonged to Hess and that she was wanted for an assault warrant out of Jackson County.
Police contacted the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office and learned that Hess was a known drug dealer in Crescent City and was known to carry a concealed weapon, McCourt said.
Several Del Norte County Sheriff’s detectives drove to Fred Meyer to help in the investigation, he said.
While the three suspects waited in the car, Hess tried to use a credit card without success to purchase the cartful of merchandise.
When Hess left the store at about 11 a.m. with only the GPS device, McCourt arrested her without incident. A quick body search revealed she had three “throwing-style” daggers in her socks, McCourt said.
By that time, the three suspects left their vehicle and started walking south on Chetco Avenue, where they were stopped by authorities and questioned, McCourt said.
Once authorities determined the credit card they were using was stolen from a Crescent City resident, the three suspects were arrested without incident and booking in Curry County Jail.
“We wanted to wait until the suspects were out of the store because we knew they might be carrying concealed weapons and we didn’t want other people to get hurt,” McCourt said.
During a search of Hess’ vehicle, officers found a small amount of methamphetamine, heroin and drug paraphernalia. They also found a small notebook with people’s name and personal identification information, McCourt said.