Two Ohio Women Arrested For Belk Shoplifting Spree
by Chris Cannon
FRANKLIN, Tenn. -Two women from Ohio were arrested and booked into the Williamson County jail, accused of stealing from the Cool Springs Belk store. Police said it was not the only Belk store they hit.
"There's no doubt in our minds that they went to this Belk store in Franklin with the sole purpose of stealing merchandise," said Lt. Charlie Warner with the Franklin Police Department.
Warner pointed to surveillance video that showed 21-year-olds Danielle White and Jolisha McDonald shopping in the store. He said they looked very suspicious to store security.
"A lot of tell-tale signs those guys are trained in, and so as they continued to watch them they saw the device come out that's used to actually remove the security devices – the anti-theft devices that are on the clothes," Warner said.
The women used a tool that removes security sensor tags from the clothing to get out of the store without setting off alarms.
Belk store security notified Franklin police to be on alert for the suspects in the parking lot.
"We had officers stationed outside of the store, ready to take these women into custody," Warner said.
When White and McDonald left the store, police approached them. Surveillance video showed the two women running from officers. They were quickly taken into custody and charged with stealing $1,100 worth of merchandise.
According to police, the Franklin Belk was not the first store the two women went to on Saturday. Two hours earlier there were caught by security cameras at the Belk in Mt. Juliet.
The video showed the suspects behind the register. Police said they were stealing the devices to remove security tags from clothing.
"One female pulls it and actually rips it off the cash register, and another one has scissors and she cuts it off," said Sgt. Tyler Chandler with the Mt. Juliet Police Department.
When store security in Mt. Juliet noticed the missing devices, they notified all Belk stores. That was when security in Franklin realized it was the same women they had just arrested.
Each step of the Ohioans time in Middle Tennessee Belk stores was captured on camera.
"Some people think they can go in and steal and get away with it, but with technology, the camera systems, with the professional staff these stores have, I think it's leading to more arrests," Chandler said.
White and McDonald were both in the Williamson County jail Wednesday night. When they are released, the two will be taken into custody by Wilson County to face charges in Mt. Juliet.