A minor was issued four trespass notices Saturday after he and a store employee allegedly worked together to steal merchandise.
The thefts were discovered between 1 and 3 p.m. at Famous Footwear off Fording Island Road, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.
A manager at the store told a deputy that a young man entered the business carrying a large Hollister bag that looked “partially empty.” The youth then tried on some boots before leaving the store at a “rapid” pace carrying the same bag that was now “bulging,” the report said. The manager followed the man into the Marshall’s where she could clearly see the same boots sticking out of the bag.
When she confronted the minor, he gave the boots back to her, and she called the Sheriff’s Office because she was suspicious that the juvenile had taken items from Marshall’s as well, the report said.
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After he was handcuffed and put in the back of a patrol car, the boy gave the deputy a false address and invalid phone number for his father, who was eventually located by law enforcement. The youth told the deputy that he had taken socks from Marshall’s in addition to the boots from Famous Footwear. He also said that the rest of the items inside the bag were given to him by a friend at Hollister, the report said.
He also told the deputy that the friend at Hollister was an employee of that store, and that his friend had placed a Hollister bag filled with merchandise on the floor of the store and told him to “come in to take it and walk out,” the report said.
Inside the bag, the deputy found three items taken from Marshall’s, nine from Hollister and two from American Eagle. There were no receipts in the bag.
Hollister conducted an internal investigation into the youth’s claim. An employee of the store admitted he had shoplifted with the juvenile by taking the security tags off of the items and placing them in a bag for the minor to pick up, the report said.
The store asked for a trespass notice against the minor and that charges be filed against the employee, whose name was redacted from the report.
None of the other businesses involved wished to pursue charges against the minor, but three more trespass notices were issued to him. He was released into his father’s custody.