Alleged retail theft ring suspects caught after Fairfield foot pursuit
FAIRFIELD — Two members of an alleged retail theft ring accused of shoplifting from a local store were arrested after a foot pursuit in town over the weekend, police said Tuesday.
At 6:23 p.m. Sunday, Fairfield police were called by a loss prevention officer at Super Stop & Shop, 760 Villa Ave., who reported that two suspects were shoplifting at the store.
The loss prevention officer said they were watching two men — later identified as Akanilli Dekattu and Tequan Robinson — on video surveillance, taking a “large amount of health and beauty care products into a large black bag,” police said.
Police said the loss prevention officer noted that he recognized the two men from a recent shoplifting alert sent to area Shop & Shop stores.
Several officers were dispatched to the Fairfield store and were outside the store when Dekattu and Robinson walked out. When they saw the officers, they both allegedly took off on foot despite officers telling them multiple times to stop, police said.
Police said Robinson tried to run to a vehicle left running in the parking lot, but officers were able to take him into custody before he got to the vehicle.
“As Robinson was being placed into the rear of a patrol vehicle, he spit at one of the arresting officers,” police said.
Dekattu was taken into custody near the Dunkin Donuts parking lot at 200 Tunxis Hill Road.
The large black bag, which had the stolen merchandise, was dropped in the parking lot and retrieved by loss prevention officers.
Inside the vehicle, officers found a second black bag with a “large amount of health and beauty care merchandise which was determined to have been stolen from another Stop & Shop location,” police said.
Police said Robinson and Dekattu took $1,80.49 worth of items from the store. The items found in the bag in the vehicle was valued at $616.61.
“Robinson and Dekattu are believed to be members of a larger organized retail theft ring responsible for numerous incidents since (Jan. 16) at Stop & Shop locations in New York and Connecticut,” police said. “This retail theft ring is believed to have caused Stop & Shop a total loss of over $30,000.”
Robinson and Dekattu were found in possession of large amounts of cash — which police said is believed to be proceeds from the sale of stolen merchandise and it was seized as a result.
Dekattu, 23, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged with organized retail theft, fourth-degree larceny by shoplifting, conspiracy to commit fourth-degree larceny, interfering with an officer and fifth-degree larceny by possession.
Robinson, 20, of New York, N.Y., was charged with organized retail theft, fourth-degree larceny by shoplifting, conspiracy to commit fourth-degree larceny, interfering with an officer, assault on an officer and fifth-degree larceny by possession.
Each man was held on a $10,000 bond. Dekattu and Robinson each posted 10 percent of their cash bond and were released “according to new state bond regulations,” police said.
Dekattu and Robinson were each given court dates of Feb. 20.