Police arrest several suspects in store thefts

Published: Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 6:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 7:25 p.m.

Police arrested five people Saturday in unrelated cases involving hundreds of dollars of merchandise being stolen from local department stores, reports say.

An 18-year-old man was suspected of using a shopping cart to truck $500 worth of items out of Kohl’s department store on 3535 SW Archer Road Friday around 2 p.m.

Jeremy Whitehead was seen on security camera footage placing clothing into the cart and pushing the cart out of the store, according to a Gainesville Police report.

A witness told police she saw Whitehead run into the nearby Ridgemar Commons Apartments at 3611 SW 34th St., with the cart and stolen goods.

Police found Whitehead outside of his apartment Saturday wearing clothes that were similar to what was seen on the suspect in the surveillance video. Police showed photos taken from the video to Whitehead’s mother, who identified the suspect as her son.

Police said Whitehead briefly resisted arrest, flailing his arms and pushing police away, causing a minor abrasion to his forehead and right elbow. Two police officers received minor injuries from the struggle.

Whitehead’s mother returned the $200 worth of goods that she was able to locate to police.

Whitehead was arrested on charges of grand theft and resisting an officer without violence.

In a separate case, a woman from Gilchrist County entered the JCPenney at the Oaks Mall twice on Saturday to steal clothes, police said.

Cristina Parker-Carryer, 38, was seen placing three pairs of Nike shoes, estimated to be worth $230, in her shopping bags. Parker-Carryer was seen leaving the store without paying for the shoes, police said.

Moments later, Parker-Carryer re-entered the store and placed a pair of Levi jeans and a Nike hoodie, worth $75 total, in her shopping bags. She again left the store without paying for the items.

After her arrest, police said, Parker-Carryer admitted she took the items without paying for them. She faces charges of grand theft.

Also on Saturday, three Gainesville women were arrested for trying to steal merchandise from Walmart by smuggling the goods in used plastic Walmart bags.

Heather Chatmon, 35, Martha Whittaker, 58, and Shanice Brown, 19, were stopped outside the garden department at the Walmart on NE 12th Avenue around 6 p.m.

The three women were found with more than $500 of stolen items in a shopping cart, according to an arrest report. Police said the three women admitted they were working together to steal the merchandise. All three will face charges of grand theft.

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