Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Justin HAGGAR (Shoplifting, Removal of Theft Detective Device) Burlington Coat Factory Assembly Square Somerville

On 1/20/2019, I ,Officer Devin Schneider, was in full uniform while assigned to the Alpha Unit at Assembly Square, along with my partner, Officer Courtney Reece. At approximately 2:00pm, Officer Reece and I received a tip from Burlington store Loss Prevention Officer XXXX that he had just witnessed a suspect from an previous shoplifting incident (Incident #19000644 from 12/15/2018) enter his store. LPO XXXX informed Officers the Detective Alan Monaco had asked that the suspect be identified so he could be charged with the shoplifting incident.

As Officer Reece and I responded to the area, XXXX informed us that the suspect had left the store and gone to the Express Outlet (301 Artisan Way.) Officer Reece and I pulled up in a marked cruiser outside of Express and met with XXXX, who pointed out the suspect to us. As we pulled up, the suspect was in the vestibule of the store, in the process of exiting. Upon seeing officers, the suspect looked nervous, promptly turned around, and hurriedly re-entered the store through the secondary door. I would not that the point where the suspect was located at the point of our arrival was past the exit first door, and the theft detection device alarms.

I approached the suspect, who had his back to me. I observed the suspect furtively remove a couple of items of clothing and place them on a store display table. I approached the suspect, and secured him, pat frisking him for any weapons due to his furtive movements. The suspect was identified as Justin Haggar via his MA state license.

I informed Haggar the reason he was being detained. Officer Kevin Goulart arrived on scene, and read Haggar his rights pursuant to Miranda from a pre-printed card. I asked Haggar why he had taken the shirts out of his jacket, and he initially denied the action. When I informed him that I had witnessed him take the shirt out, he stated that he had picked them up from another display, but did not leave the store with them so had not stolen anything.

The items of clothing that Haggar removed from inside his jacket were two long sleeve shirts with Express tags attached to them. I spoke with Express store employee XXXX, who identified the shirts as Express merchandise, and produced a receipt to reflect their value. I placed Haggar under arrest, handcuffing him in a manner consistent with my training (double locked and checked for tightness.)

During a search incident to arrest, a pair of wire cutters was found by Officer Reece on Haggar’s person. Based on my training and experience, persons shoplifting with wire cutters usually have the intent to use them to remove theft detection devices, such as the electronic ones that Express uses. Haggar claimed that the bolt cutters were used to remove his bike lock, however, the mouth of the bolt cutters only opened to about a quarter of an inch, far too small to cut off a bike lock. Additionally, at the time of the incident there had just been a major snow storm, and when Officer Goulart asked Haggar if he had ridden a bike to get to the area, he stated no.

Haggar was transported back to the station in prisoner transport unit 200, operated by Officer Robert Anaya, and booked in the usual manner by the Commanding Officer: Lt. Jeffery Digregorio. Photographs of the receipt, bolt cutters and shirts will be attached to this report for digital preservation.

I will be seeking a criminal complaint against Justin Haggar for Possession of a Theft Removal Device, and Shoplifting by Asportation. Haggar’s information was passed along to Detective Alan Monaco for follow up to the original shoplifting incident.

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Devin Schneider
Badge #295

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