Centralia police officers received a helping hand last week from a citizen who happened to have her car parked at the right place at the right time, which ultimately foiled four suspects’ alleged plan to take off with approximately $1,300 worth of items from the Nike outlet store in Centralia.
Chanel C. Sabb, 28; Marjorie M. Long, 49, and Cherita M. Robertson, 44, all of Portland, Oregon, were charged with organized retail theft while Philip D. Thomas, 44, of Portland, was charged with organized retail theft, hit and run of an attended vehicle and second-degree identity theft.
According to Centralia Police officer Alan Hitchcock, the woman had parked her car adjacent to the suspect vehicle and was able to get the license plate number of the suspect vehicle after it hit her car.
“If we hadn’t got that plate number we probably wouldn’t have got them,” Hitchcock said.
Court documents give the following account of July 30:
At 7:24 p.m., Centralia Police Officers responded to the Nike outlet store in Centralia where they spoke with a woman who just witnessed three women later identified as, Sabb, Long and Robertson, exit the store with numerous items that were loaded into their vehicle before they took off.
She explained to police that she had arrived to pick up her husband, who was an employee of the store, but before she picked up her husband, two of the suspects reportedly opened their car doors, striking the woman’s car.
Then the driver, later identified as Thomas, drove off with one of the doors still open which scraped across the woman’s car, too.
The woman was able to get the vehicle’s license plate number before it took off, which she provided to police.
The suspect vehicle was then stopped by the Washington State Patrol farther south at exit 61 on Interstate 5.
During the WSP’s traffic stop, Thomas attempted to identify himself to law enforcement as a 22-year-old. In addition to being suspicious that Thomas was indeed 22, officers noticed an Oregon driver’s license on the ground of the car, which depicted Thomas and had his true information.
Thomas told police the three women were responsible for stealing the Nike items and that he was just the driver.
The suspects gave back the items they had allegedly stolen before being detained.
In Lewis County Superior Court on Friday, Judge James Lawler established bail at $5,000 unsecured for all four of the alleged participants.
The four are scheduled to be arraigned on August 6.