PLEASANT HILL (KPIX 5) – Shoplifters in the East Bay targeted another Dick’s Sporting Goods Store in Pleasant Hill Wednesday night, but the timely arrival of a police officer spoiled their getaway.
Surveillance video shows the shameless heist as a group of teens is seen heading for the shops exit with armfuls of clothing.
The shoplifters used the same tactics employed by thieves that hit another Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Fairfield that KPIX 5 reported on Wednesday. Those suspects were capture on cell phone video.
This time around, the heist did not end as planned for the shoplifters.
At around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday night, a Pleasant Hill Police officer drove by and saw something very suspicious. A vehicle had backed in towards the main door of the Dick’s and had no license plate.
As officer approached the door, the thieves’ plan started to unravel.
In surveillance video obtained from the store, a girl is seen running through the exit with her arms full of athletic wear. Two others follow right behind.
The shoplifters end up dropping merchandise all over the doorway. It appears one of the suspects sees the police officer outside and suddenly turns back into the store as the officer rushes in.
It turns out running with $8,000 worth of shoplifted merchandise is a lot harder than it sounds.
“It would be awkward,” said Pleasant Hill Police Sgt. Brian Leonard. “But that’s why they have a car waiting nearby, basically dump it right into the backseat or the trunk of the car, and then you make a quick getaway.”
The arrival of the officer changed their plan quickly.
“They had arms full of clothing. So as they exited, they saw the police car with the officer getting out and turned and ran back in towards the interior of the store,” said Leonard.
The officer then called for backup to cover to exit on the opposite side of the store. The thieves tried to run through the store, but they were trapped.
In all, a total of five young people were arrested. Only one, 18-year-old Oakland resident Zahra McCockran, was an adult. The other four suspects — two males and two females — were juveniles.
McCockran was booked into the county jail on counts of grand theft and conspiracy to commit theft. The juveniles were ultimately released to parents or guardians.
It turns out Dick’s is a frequent target of thieves in the Bay Area because of their so-called “no chase policy.”
Sources tell KPIX 5 the women in this video from Fairfield strongly resemble the ones who hit the Pleasant Hill store Wedesday night.
Leonard said police are exploring that possible connection.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if these folks were connected to other, similar thefts in the Bay Area,” said Leonard.
When asked if the arrest would stop the problem, he replied, “I’m doubtful that it will, but I’m hopeful in this situation that it breaks up this small part of a ring.”
Anyone with additional information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Pleasant Hill Police at 925-288-4630.