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Williams Lake businesses work together to capture shoplifter spending nights in stores

A suspect was arrested the next day while attempting to steal from the second business
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A suspected shoplifter who stayed overnight in two Williams Lake business she is alleged to have stole from, is facing charges.

Williams Lake RCMP Cpl. Brett Squire said police received the first report of a break and enter at a Prosperity Way business on Oct. 16.

Video surveillance showed a suspect had entered the store, locked herself in overnight on Oct. 15 and then was observed stealing store merchandise and leaving the store with stolen items.

On October 17, the police received a report of a shoplifter at a business on First Ave North.

Squire noted store employees reported the suspect was currently in the store, and they recognized the same person from video surveillance as having committed a similar store break-out from the night before.

Police attended, arrested and took the woman into custody.

While the woman was being arrested at the First Avenue North business, a police officer was at the Prosperity Way business on another matter; employees of the two businesses were in contact with one another and shared that the suspect description matched both incidents, Squire said.

Further investigation by Williams Lake frontline members resulted in positively identifying the suspect from both offences of breaking out of the retail businesses. The suspect was held in custody and Crown Counsel has approved charges.

“We don’t, outside of the popular Home Alone movies, see many incidents of an accused remaining in a store after closing, so it is a unique MO for both the police and the local business community to be aware of,” Squire said. “In this case; quick information sharing between the businesses, and prompt reporting to police led to quick arrest.”

A store owner in Williams Lake told the Tribune that local businesses have been working together to keep each other informed about thefts or possible thefts.

“We are no longer business competitors, but allies. That’s how it has to be,” the store owner said.

Jerrika Leigh Hill-Jackson is facing charges of theft under $5,000 and breaking out of a property in relation to the incident and was released on conditions, with her next court appearance scheduled for Nov. 30, 2022 in Williams Lake Provincial Court.

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