Average People As Crimefighters: Retail Workers Lead Police to Burglary/Theft Ring - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Average People As Crimefighters: Retail Workers Lead Police to Burglary/Theft Ring

Police say it's exactly what you can do to help stop crime and it works better than any burglar alarm or video surveillance camera.

Investigators say a young clothing store assistant manager and one of her co workers provided them with the exact information they needed, and then they tracked down the suspects in a rampaging theft ring.

Police say the pair's actions stopped a string of more than half a dozen crimes.

Some people don't play the victim well.  Count the two young retail workers among them.

Last week, someone crashed through the front window of their store, The Buckle at East Chase, and stole thousands in merchandise.

"They took tons of stuff.  We basically got robbed, which is something I never would have expected at East Chase," said assistant manager Kara Moncrief.

While the owner and other employees tried to tape up the entrance to open, Moncrief had an idea: contact an old friend, the manager at Plato's Closet, a used clothing store.

"Just to make sure if they get any of our merchandise, they can call us," said Moncrief.

While co-worker Brad Talley went to Platos, so did two suspects, now identified as Byron Harris and Stephanie Hamilton. When they arrived, they offered up something Brad knew well.

"It was pretty much all our merchandise in the bag, which they were trying to return to get money," Talley said.

Employees at Plato's Closet kept the pair in their store until police arrived and they arrested the two suspects.

Then police realized six businesses suffered broken front windows and similar thefts last week, including Cakes by Design, Steak De Vine, the Great American Cookie Company, Tomatino's Pizza and Tangs Alterations. Investigators have now tied those thefts together, which means the two young retail clerks busted a theft ring in its tracks.

"I knew about the cookie company, but the other businesses I didn't know about," said Talley.

So, do the young workers feel like crimefighters?

"Oh, yes," exclaimed Moncrief, "We do!"

Police cite this as a textbook example of how the public can fight crime and have a real impact in the city.

Investigators say Byron Harris is a suspect in six of those cases and possibly another. They have charged Stephanie Hamilton with one count.

More importantly, they are looking for two other people they say also helped in the burglaries and thefts.  

Both Hamilton and Harris have bonded out of the Montgomery County jail.

If you have any information on the other suspects, please call crimestoppers at 215-STOP.

Reporter: Chris Holmes 

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