Youngstown targets holiday crime | News, Sports, Jobs

Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, left, and Police Chief Carl Davis are shown speaking to reporters on Wednesday about an increased effort to tackle thefts from retail stores in the city, including using plainclothes agents in stores. Staff photo / Ed Runyan

YOUNGSTOWN – The Youngstown Police Department will be stepping up efforts to curb thefts from retail businesses in the city over the coming weeks as these crimes increase during the holidays.

Mayor Jamael Tito Brown and Police Chief Carl Davis were among the speakers at a press conference Wednesday at the police station to warn thieves the police department would be watching – sometimes in plain clothes.

“They may or may not know that the police are present in the area. We want to make sure that we deploy both uniformed and plainclothes officers so that we have visibility and a bit of undercover operations, ”said Lt. Brian Butler.

The mayor said there had been incidents in which an individual would fill a basket with items and simply take it out.

“We want them to understand that it can be the same day and the same place we have law enforcement in this store, and you run the risk that it will land you in jail,” he said. declared.

This type of incident happened at the Family Dollar on Glenwood Avenue on Tuesday, according to a police report.

At 7:02 p.m., a man walked past an employee who was outside the store with a basket containing items such as a mop, broom, cleaning supplies and toilet paper.

Around this time, the employee saw a coworker come out of the store and realized what was going on. The first employee thought she recognized the man with the basket and shouted the name “Tony”. The man turned and looked at her, then ran off to the woods, the report said.

The other employee told police the man had approached the counter and told the worker that if she tried to stop him he would shoot her. A Youngstown police report does not indicate that no arrests were made in the case.

The Family Dollar store not far from Canfield Road in Cornersburg suffered an even more frightening incident on November 16 when a man walked out of the store with stolen items, forcing a worker to walk the sidewalk to try and get a phone number. numberplate .

One of the three men in the car pulled her into the car, which then left with her inside. The woman fought with the men and scratched them, but the men also assaulted her, she said. She tried to force the car off the road by grabbing the steering wheel and shifter, according to a police report of the incident.

She begged the men to let her out of the car and was eventually able to escape near the intersection of Canfield Road and Glenwood Avenue. Customers from the store were in their car nearby, and they allowed her to get into their car and drove her back to the store, she said.

The police have a person of interest in the case.

The mayor and chief recently met with local business owners over lunch to talk to them about thefts from stores, Brown and Davis said.

As for buyers, Brown reminded them to “be aware of your surroundings” to keep you and your family safe.

“As we have done every year, our agents will be carrying out additional checks on businesses throughout the city. These additional checks will take place daily throughout the month of December, ”said Davis.

“We want a peaceful and safe vacation experience for our retail stores and those who shop there,” he said.

“When you see our officers, we encourage you to stop and talk to them,” Davis said. “Let them know of any concerns you may have. It is only through our partnerships with the community that we can make this holiday season happy, special and safe. “

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