Metro-East News

Fairview Heights police catch suspect in 6 grab-and-run thefts

Fairview Heights police say added patrols in shopping areas have paid off with the arrest of a serial shoplifter.

Police arrested a man Tuesday night as he ran from Dillard’s with stolen clothing, according to a news release. Police suspect the man to be connected with several thousand dollars in thefts in least five other grab-and-run thefts from various stores at the mall. The man’s name is not being released until charges are filed.

Grab-and-run shoplifting has increased this year in Fairview Heights, according to data obtained from the police department. Most remain unsolved, as police don’t conduct pursuits in property crimes.

In this shoplifting case, the suspect had a car waiting outside the mall, backed into a space, according to a news release. Police said the driver fled from officers onto Interstate 64, west into Missouri, after the driver saw the suspect arrested.

Fairview Heights police said undercover officers are stationed around the mall to try to catch shoplifters during the busy holiday season.