On Saturday, May 31, 2014, I was working in marked unit East-1. At approximately 10:40 A.M. I responded
to Saks Fifth Avenue located at 300 Canal Street for a report of shoplifter. Marked unit East-4, Officer Capasso, responded as backup along with Sgt. Detective Monte who was in the immediate area. While responding, Somerville Police dispatch stated that two members of Saks loss prevention were in the parking lot near the store fighting with the shoplifter.
As I arrived on scene I was met by two members of loss prevention, who appeared to be struggling with a male. I quickly exited my cruiser and assisted the loss prevention team gain control of this male, later identified as Mr. Hacene Merzi. Mr. Merzi was walked back into Saks Fifth Avenue and into the loss prevention office. While walking into the store I noticed a large bulge in Mr. Merzi’s upper pant area. It appeared that Mr. Merzi may have stuffed items down his pants.
When we entered the loss prevention office Mr. Merzi removed a blue suit and a pair of true religion jeans from underneath his pants. Officer Capasso noticed that Mr. Merzi was wearing two pairs of pants, one being tight to his body, and the second being a loose pair to wear over the tight pair. I would note that many people commonly use this method of wearing two pants in an attempt to conceal items between the two layers. Loss prevention stated that Mr. Merzi has had prior dealings with the department store. In fact, Mr. Merzi is the suspect in an ongoing multi-jurisdictional store ring of larcenies. Loss prevention has previous video footage from Mr. Merzi stealing items from various stores around the area and as far as Manchester, NH. What caught their attention this day was that Mr. Merzi walked into the store wearing the same New England Patriots jersey #87 that he did in the past while stealing items.
While seated in the loss prevention office, they played the surveillance footage of Mr. Merzi taking the suit and jeans and stuffing them into his pants. Mr. Merzi continued to walk out the store without paying for the items. As Mr. Merzi watched the video, he spontaneously stated, “I don’t need to watch this, I know I did it.” He then stated, “I’m sorry, I know I took the stuff.” I asked loss prevention for a copy of the surveillance to which he stated he could make a copy of later on that day.