Five charged in retail theft ring

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Staff report

MIRAMAR BEACH — Five people from Montgomery, Alabama, have been charged in a slew of crimes after a month-long investigation of an organized retail theft ring by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, just before 9 p.m. Dec. 19 deputies responded to the Tommy Hilfiger store at Silver Sands Premium Outlets on U.S. Highway 98 regarding people seen shoplifting.

Deputies located four of the five suspects. Hernando James, 19, was seen carrying a Tommy Hilfiger bag with several items inside. Surveillance video showed James entering the store without a shopping bag and purchasing two items. However, more than two pieces of clothing were found in the bag, the press release said.

James was arrested for grand theft along with Stevonda O’Neal, who was an out-of-state fugitive. Also during the investigation, Rameshia Hatcher provided a false name to deputies. Her mother, Ophelia Hatcher, knew Rameshia was giving a false name while they spoke to deputies, according to the press release.

A car was located in the parking lot beside a large pile of clothes. Inside of the vehicle were several garbage bags and store alarm tags. The vehicle was seized and a search was conducted at a later date.

Investigators found more than $6,000 worth of stolen merchandise in the car from several stores, including Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, Justice, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger, the Sheriff’s Office said. Investigators later learned the names of all those involved, including the identity of Rameshia Hatcher.

Hernando James, 19 was arrested Dec. 19 and charged with coordinating in theft of more than $3,000. Stevonda O’Neal was arrested that day on an out-of-state fugitive charge and then released. O’Neal, Shakina Letressa Hall, 32, Rebecca Hatcher, 25, and Ophelia Hatcher, 45, have all been charged with coordinating in theft of more than $3,000. Rameshia and Ophelia Hatcher also have been charged with providing false information to a law enforcement officer. All four have active warrants for their arrests.

 

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