Police arrested six people after finding stolen merchandise from at least five stores at the Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets in the car two of the suspects were trying to drive away in.
New Haven residents Atavia Wilson, 35, Darlyn Shepard, 34, Tavrie Wicher, 22, Leanie Hayes, 22, and Alexzae Tyson, 18, are facing multiple charges including larceny. A 16-year-old was also charged in the case, but police did not release the name because the person is a juvenile.
Clinton police received a 911 call at about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday reporting a shoplifting incident at the Nike store at the outlets. The report said that six female suspects stole items and fled the store.
Police located two of the suspects trying to drive away in a car and stopped them, finding $1,000-worth of merchandise from Adidas, Under Armor, Old Navy, Yankee Candle and Bath & Body Works in the car. Officers also found a knife, "snips used to remove security sensors and bags "believed to be used at various stores" to shoplift on the passenger seat, police said.
Police identified the four other suspects through witness statements and Nike's surveillance video and found them after they disposed of stolen merchandise, police said. Officers determined that the six people came to the outlet mall in two separate cars. While they couldn't find the other car, they believe more stolen merchandise was stashed there.
Two of the suspects also had outstanding arrest warrants from other police departments and all six had a criminal record involving "similar activity," police said.
Wilson, Shepard, Wicher, Hayes and Tyson were all charged with fourth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny and interfering with police. Police also charged Hayes with two outstanding failure to appear charges.
Police did not specify the juvenile's charges.
Security personnel at the Clinton outlet mall assisted with the investigation.
Police released all adult suspects on a bond and they are scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 2 at 9 a.m. Officers released the juvenile to a parent.