Getaway car escapes, but leaves behind shoplifting suspect in viral video

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EDWARDSVILLE, IL- A cell phone video that has gone viral on TikTok shows a shoplifter getting ditched by her getaway car in Illinois and then being chased by police. Authorities hope the widespread video will help them apprehend a pair of suspected shoplifters. Watch below:

The incident reportedly happened around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 4th in the parking lot outside of Hibbett’s Sports on Troy Road after an employee reported three suspicious women inside the store.

The employee who called 911 told the dispatcher that they recognized the suspects from prior shoplifting incidents in the sporting goods store. Edwardsville store manager Kayla Sandeser said:

“They had hit our store in Alton and Belleville, and both of those stores were able to pull up video footage and capture the thieves’ images. They sent photos around to other stores to know what the thieves look like and we were able to verify with those photos and call the police.”

According to reports, as officers arrived on scene, they saw three women who were loaded down with clothing, running from the store. Police said that two of the suspects jumped into a gray Ford Fusion and fled the scene.

Cell phone video of the incident that was filmed by a bystander showed that the third suspect was left behind by the other two women and the getaway car. 

The video showed a woman desperately yanking on the driver’s side back door of the car with one hand while her other hand held onto what appeared to be the contents of an entire rack of pants she’d allegedly just stole from Hibbett’s Sports.

Instead of unlocking the car doors for the woman, the video showed her partners-in-crime speeding off, leaving her behind all alone. The video also showed the getaway car passing an arrived police SUV as the suspect they ditched chased behind them.

When the left-behind suspect spotted the arriving officers, she dropped the stolen merchandise on the ground and started running. Police stated that the woman gave up after a short chase. A second video clip was added, showing the woman being handcuffed by a police officer.

The woman was arrested and booked into the Madison County Jail. Edwards police have asked the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office to pursue felony theft charges against the woman. Edwardsville Police Chief Michael Fillback said in a statement:

“These individuals exited the building with basically a handful of clothes, each of them, and ran to a vehicle parked nearby. One of the individuals was unable to get in the vehicle. The video shows that.”

The video also showed something else that greatly concerned police. A shopper had to step out of the way of the speeding getaway car, which nearly crashed into an oncoming police SUV as it fled the scene. Fillback added:

“Bottom line is, it could have had dire consequences for somebody just out shopping with their kids or something.”

According to reports, the suspect, since identified as 19-year-old Dakayla Colemon, is also wanted on a warrant in Missouri for failing to appear in court. As of this writing, police have yet to find the other two suspects, along with the getaway car.

While Hibbett’s Sports received what the abandoned woman had on her, the other two women got away with nearly $3,100 in stolen merchandise. 

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Arizona man arrested for stealing car with toddler inside – and it’s not his first time being arrested

March 30th, 2021

MESA, AZ – A 24-year-old man was arrested in Mesa for allegedly stealing a vehicle left running outside of a gas station earlier in March that had a two-year-old child sitting in the backseat

According to police, the incident occurred outside of a QuikTrip near Broadway Road and Stapley Drive at approximately 5:30 p.m. on March 5th. 

Authorities allege that 24-year-old Rodrigo Garcia had stolen a BMW 328i that was parked outside of the gas station and left running. 

The owner of the vehicle reportedly told police that she’d left the vehicle running and her two-year-old son in the backseat at the time because her child was sleeping. 

When the vehicle was stolen, the victim’s cellphone was reportedly left inside of the vehicle – which wound up helping police later on during the investigation.

Roughly one hour after the vehicle had been reported stolen, authorities located the vehicle, with the two-year-old boy inside and unharmed. The vehicle was seemingly abandoned in a nearby neighborhood from where the incident occurred. 

But what wasn’t inside of the vehicle when discovered was the woman’s cellphone.

After police reviewed surveillance footage available from the QuikTrip, they identified the suspect who’d allegedly stolen the vehicle. 

Once authorities tracked the missing cellphone, they happened upon a 99 Cents store on Gilbert Road where the cellphone was found inside of a backpack, along with other various pieces of property that belonged to the victim. 

Police in turn reviewed surveillance footage from the 99 Cents store, and saw the same suspect from the QuikTrip surveillance footage leaving the backpack behind that contained the cellphone. 

Rodrigo Garcia - Mesa Police Department
Rodrigo Garcia – Mesa Police Department

After running prints in concurrence with using facial recognition technology, police identified their suspect as Garcia. 

Interestingly enough, employees from the 99 Cents store contacted Mesa PD on March 12th after Garcia had come into the store asking about the backpack he’d reportedly left behind. 

Officers were said to have responded to the store location and took Garcia into custody. 

Mesa PD officials allege that Garcia admitted to stealing the vehicle on March 5th, but had abandoned the vehicle once he’d realized that there was a child sitting in the backseat. 

A records check performed by our team at Law Enforcement Today revealed that Garcia was previously convicted of aggravated assault back in 2017 out of Pima County and was sentenced two-and-a-half years’ in prison for the offense. 

Rodrigo Garcia, inmate #323596 - Arizona Department of Corrections
Rodrigo Garcia, inmate #323596 – Arizona Department of Corrections

He was released from prison on August 30th, 2019, having had some disciplinary issues while incarcerated relating to narcotics possession and positive and/or refusal to administer a urinalysis.

Garcia has since been booked into jail under charges of kidnapping, vehicle theft and vehicle burglary. His bond has been set at $15,000.

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In cases similar to this one out of Mesa, Arizona, a father in San Francisco was the victim of a carjacking where his two young children were inside of the car at the time it was stolen back in February. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A father of two young children who was recently the victim of a carjacking, where his kids were inside of his vehicle while it was stolen, was recently reunited with his kids following the harrowing experience.

And the San Francisco Police chief has a message for the malefactors behind the carjacking/kidnapping – and that message is for the suspects to turn themselves in.

The incident reportedly occurred on the evening of February 6th within the Pacific Heights area. Jeffrey Fang was making a DoorDash delivery at around 8:45 p.m. that evening while his one-year-old son and four-year-old daughter were in the backseat of the vehicle.

While making the delivery, one of two possible suspects hopped into the silver Honda Odyssey minivan and drove off after a brief struggle with Fang trying to thwart the carjacking – all the while, Fang’s two young children were inside the vehicle when this was going on.

An Amber Alert was kicked off shortly thereafter, authorities eventually located the stolen minivan in San Francisco’s Bayview district around 1:00 a.m. on February 7th.

But in the hours between the incident and police locating the stolen minivan and children, Fang was overcome with worry over the status of his then-missing children:

“I just want my kids back.”

Locals wound up getting involved in the search efforts, with two neighbors who wanted to remain anonymous noting their involvement in trying to help locate the missing vehicle and children:

“We started working our way down the hill, stopping at every minivan to check the license plate.”

Having since been reunited with his two children, Fang noted that both he and his wife are simply glad that their children were returned safely:

“Every minute was excruciating. No fancy words can express how grateful we are…me and my wife, our family. That they were found, and safe, is a happy close to an unfortunate episode.”

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott delivered a message during a recent press conference to the two suspected carjackers that are still at-large:

“The people involved in this, turn yourself in. This crime is very serious, to kidnap a vehicle and take two small babies away from their parents.”

Considering that the carjacking and kidnapping occurred while Fang was attempting to deliver for DoorDash, the CEO of the company delivered a statement on the matter that reads as follows:

“We were appalled by this brazen and heinous act, and are actively working with law enforcement, as a father myself I can only imagine how terrifying this incident must have been for Mr Fang and his family.”

The San Francisco Police Department shared their gratitude towards the community coming together to assist law enforcement in their efforts to locate the missing children on Twitter, writing:

“Words cannot express how thankful we are for everyone’s assistance last night in reuniting the missing children with their parents. Bay Area, you truly came through last night in helping us spread the word and calling in tips.”

The tweet from the SFPD also extended thanks to members of the media and additional law enforcement agencies involved to help recover these two children quickly and safely:

“We weren’t alone in this. Special thank you to our allied law enforcement agencies, dispatchers, officers conducting grid searches across the city, and our media partners. Last night was truly a culmination of us coming together.”

GoFundMe account has been established in an effort to afford the Fang family some time off to spend with their children, so as to help comfort them following such a traumatic experience.

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