Police are calling it a crime of mis-opportunity.
Outside of Detroit, two women were allegedly caught stealing nearly $1,900 worth of electronics from a Target store, and had the misfortune of trying to pull off the heist while the store was packed with police officers for a “Shop with a Cop” event. As USA Today reported, there were more than a dozen officers in the store helping 22 disadvantaged children pick up Christmas gifts for their families at the time of the alleged theft.
While the charity event was taking place, security officers at the store watched as the two women allegedly filled a cart with expensive electronics, including two Apple watches and two iPads. The pair then tried to walk past the registers without paying.
They didn’t make it very far.
“The loss prevention (officers) actually apprehended them, then they asked for police assistance,” Sylvan Lake Police Sgt. Michael Mondeau, organizer of the the Shop with a Cop event, told USA Today. “The police officers were only about 20 feet away when they tried to walk out of the store.”
Police arrested 40-year-old Keiana Wilson and 18-year-old Dana Johnson just outside the store. They said that the pair were well aware of the event, and Johnson even complimented one of the officers for being so generous with their time. But Brown said the woman was only trying to distract the officer while her partner loaded up the loot to steal. About 10 minutes later, that same officer was called into the store’s loss prevention office to arrest the women.
The alleged theft shocked the Keego Harbor Police Department, which made note of the attempted heist in a Facebook post describing the “Shop with a Cop” event.
“On a side note, there must have been a special episode of ‘Dumb Criminal Minds’ being filmed live as a person tried to shoplift a bunch of electronics right in front of about 10 cops. They didn’t get far. DON’T TAKE WHAT IS NOT YOURS, it’s a simple rule that everyone should abide by and the world would be a better place.”
The allegations also generated national interest, with a number of news outlets picking up the story and many sharing it on social media with some admonishment for the alleged criminals.
Wilson and Johnson were arraigned on retail fraud charges. Brown, who had a history of past arrests, had bail set at $250,000. Wilson’s bail was set at $20,000.