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GPS tracker on stolen merchandise leads deputies to suspect

On Feb. 27, deputies were dispatched to a shoplift that had just occurred at a beauty store in the 16900 block of Meridian E in South Hill. According to store employees, a male suspect stole $2,862 worth of fragrance and one of the bottles had a GPS tracker on it.

The tracker showed that the suspect was in a parking lot outside a nearby department store. Deputies located the suspect’s vehicle and learned he was inside the store. They searched the store, located the suspect, and took him into custody. The stolen merchandise was in his backpack.

When deputies asked the 22-year-old suspect what he was going to do with the stolen merchandise, he replied that he planned to trade it for “blues” (fentanyl pills).

While searching the suspect’s vehicle, deputies discovered that he had also shoplifted from another nearby store. All stolen merchandise was returned to the stores.

The suspect was booked into jail and prosecutors charged him with trafficking in stolen property in the first degree and theft in the second degree. Bail was set at $10,000.

Last month, the suspect pleaded guilty to burglary in the second degree for stealing from an auto parts store in January. He was sentenced to 36 days in jail, which was the time he had already served.