Alleged shoplifters could get new costumes — stripes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NATCHEZ — Three women got a trick when they tried to leave a Natchez store with a free treat.

Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said Takala Jackson, Bianca Chatman and Anita McGruder were all arrested and charged with shoplifting at Spirit Halloween on John R. Junkin Drive in Natchez.

Jackson and Chatman were arrested at the same time, and McGruder was arrested in a separate incident, Mullins said.

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Mullins said officers responded to a call from the store at approximately 5:30 p.m. Monday, and store employees said several females left the store without paying for merchandise.

The store manager identified Chatman as one of the women, Mullins said.

“Officers got permission to search (Chatman’s) purse and in the process saw another purse in the floorboard of the car,” Mullins said. “The officer got permission to search that purse and found Halloween items, a Walmart name tag with Bianca on it and a prescription with Bianca Chatman on it.”

Chatman, 20, 416 A Watts Ave., was charged with one count of shoplifting. She has been released on $704 bond. She allegedly stole a Halloween costume item valued at $59.99.

Store employees told responding officers that another woman fled the scene. Mullins said the officers found Jackson in the restroom of the Family Dollar Store, located next door to Spirit Halloween.

Jackson, 19, 205 Gillespie St., Vidalia, was charged with one count of shoplifting for allegedly taking Halloween costumes valued at $59.99 and $29.99.

At 7:48 that same day, officers responded to a call from the same store, Mullins said.

Mullins said store employees observed Anita McGruder, 21, 601 Old Washington Road, putting an item in her purse and when she tried to leave the store, employees locked the door and kept McGruder at the store until officers arrived.

Officers recovered a Halloween costume valued at $79.99.

McGruder was released on $704 bond.

Mullins said if the arrested individuals enter not guilty pleas, the costumes will be brought to court as evidence, he said.