(KMOV) – The Illinois State Police have arrested two women for their alleged involvement in an 18 month retail theft ring.
The women were arrested after an ISP Trooper conducted a traffic stop on their vehicle on June 24 as the women were en route to St. Louis. According to police, the driver, Shawn Thomas, 51, provided the officer with false identification.
Police said the officer was able to uncover her true identity which revealed she did not have a valid driver’s license and an outstanding warrant for a parole violation in Illinois. Police said she also had a second warrant for felony theft out of Missouri.
“This trooper’s keen instincts told him something was just not right with the traffic stop,” said District 18 Captain Joseph Kollins. “Thanks to the officer’s training and persistence, a large retail theft operation has been dismantled and some of the stolen merchandise has been recovered.”
The passenger, LaTonya Jackson, 34, also had an outstanding warrant in Illinois for criminal damage to property and a second warrant for felony stealing in Missouri. Neither suspect was authorized to be in possession of their rented vehicle, a black 2014 Ford Fusion.
The officer discovered the vehicle was wanted in connection with a recent theft committed at a major department store. According to the trooper, Thomas and Jackson fled a Marion, Illinois department store in a similar vehicle. The Marion store estimated their losses at approximately $63,000.
Police said several large garbage and department store bags were discovered in the vehicle containing retail merchandise with the tags still attached. Police also found multiple keys used to lock department store display cases, side cutters, department store UPC stickers, and a container of OC spray.
The total amount of stolen merchandise in the vehicle was around $6,500.
Both suspects were arrested and are now in the Montgomery County Jail.
Anyone with information related to the theft operation is asked to call the ISP.