Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Bedford Police Department Arrests Two For Allegedly Shoplifting $1,000 Worth of Merchandise from Retail Store
Arrests Showcase the Success of Operation P.A.C.E. Aimed at Curbing Retail Theft During Holiday Season
BEDFORD — Police Chief Robert Bongiorno reports that the Bedford Police Department yesterday arrested two Lynn women for allegedly shoplifting high-priced designer handbags from a retail shop in town.
ALEXANDRA NATHALY MUNOZ-SANTO, AGE 23, AND SELENA TERESA SANTANA-DIAZ, AGE 18, BOTH OF LYNN, were arrested outside a store at the Great Road Shopping Center around 9 p.m. Saturday after an employee saw a marked Bedford Police cruiser on patrol and alerted them to suspicious activity.
The arrests come as a result of Bedford PD’s Operation P.A.C.E. — Pro-Active Community Enforcement — a saturation campaign aimed by preventing and curbing retail theft and shoplifting during the holiday season and beyond. Last month, Bedford Police began patrols with marked cars, unmarked cars, and foot patrols creating layers of protection over the town’s shopping centers.
The police cruiser alerted by the store associate was driven by Sergeant Paul Saunders, who oversees Operation P.A.C.E.
“Pro-Active Community Enforcement is about protecting our retail establishments, keeping our community safe, and serving as a deterrent to keep criminals out of our community,” Sergeant Saunders said. “We want criminals to know that they will have a difficult time conducting their business in Bedford.”
The store associate yesterday told Sergeant Saunders that the two women entered the store and immediately started putting random items into a shopping cart. They also put a few large sweaters on top of the other items, allegedly in an attempt to conceal the products. As they made their way to the exit, they noticed they were being watched by store employees, and they ditched the cart by pushing it into a clothing rack and ran out of the store. Once outside, they were met by police and detained.
The suspects gave police false names and addresses, but officers were able determine their true identities. It is believed that a vehicle had been waiting for the two suspects to exit the store so that they could scoop up the merchandise and make a break for it. However, the getaway car may have been scared away when the driver saw the marked police cruiser enter the plaza.
Neither MUNOZ-SANTO, nor SANTANA-DIAZ had any identification, cash, credit, or debit cards on them.
Based on the facts:
- Grabbing a cart and not shopping in a traditional manner
- Randomly loading the cart with merchandise
- Concealing the items with sweaters and making their way to the exit and not the checkout counter.
- Ditching the shopping cart into a nearby sweater rack after being spotted
- Running out of the store
- Having no means to pay for the items,
The two suspects were arrested and charged with for Larceny over $250.00. The store employees rang up the items in the cart. The total came to $1116.19. The items were determined to be designer handbags. The suspects will be arraigned Monday in Concord District Court.
Chief Bongiorno lauded the arrests.
“Operation P.A.C.E. is about so much more than retail theft. Criminals bring a host of added problems to a community, including quality of life disruption, drugs, and the potential for robberies and assaults on our residents,” Chief Bongiorno said. “I applaud the efforts of Sergeant Saunders and all our officers in creating and implementing this highly successful program in Bedford.”
If you have any questions or would like to submit a tip to the Bedford Police Department, you are urged to call 781-275-1212. You can also Tweet @BedfordPD or Visit Facebook.com/BedfordPD. You can also email the department at [email protected]. All tips may remain anonymous.
The Bedford Police Department wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!