Three people face felony shoplifting charges after police say they stole thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise Sept. 15 from the Tanger Outlets.
Police were called at 4:58 p.m. to The North Face, 36706 Bayside Outlet Drive, for shoplifting in progress after a witness reported seeing 25-year-old Lavelle Comer of Wilmington in the store concealing apparel items under his clothing, said Master Cpl. Heather Pepper of the Delaware State Police. With Comer were 51-year-old Reginald Willingham of Wilmington, and 31-year-old Latifah Willingham of New Castle, Pepper said. The witness told police that Comer and Latifah Willingham entered The Children’s Place outlet before the three fled northbound on Route 1 in a black Ford Edge. A trooper responding to the scene observed the vehicle traveling northbound in the area of Route 1 and Old Landing Road, Pepper said, and pulled the car over in the Anchorage Motel parking lot. The driver, Latifah Willingham, was instructed to turn the vehicle off multiple times by the trooper, Pepper said, but instead she accelerated out of the parking lot toward Route 1 and then turned down a dead-end road before stopping. At that point, Pepper said, Reginald Willingham exited the vehicle’s passenger side and fled on foot into a nearby parking lot. Latifah Willingham and Comer were taken into custody without incident. Pepper said police found wire cutters inside Comer’s jacket pocket that are used to help cut and disable security tags. After searching the area, she said, police found Reginald Willingham hiding under a pine tree. He was taken into custody without incident.
During a search of the car, Pepper said, police found several large trash bags in the back seat and rear of the vehicle containing items from the following stores:
- The North Face: $3,975 worth of merchandise.
- Under Armour: $771 worth of merchandise.
- Calvin Klein: $70 worth of merchandise.
- The Children’s Place: $532 worth of merchandise.
- American Eagle: $967 worth of merchandise.
- Old Navy: $1,069 worth of merchandise.
- Carters: $760 worth of merchandise.
- Michaels: $459 worth of merchandise.
Police also found a black fanny pack with drug paraphernalia inside that belonged to Comer, Pepper said.
The suspects were transported to Troop 7 where they were charged with felony possession of shoplifting tools, felony theft - organized retail crime over $1,500, felony shoplifting over $1,500, felony second-degree conspiracy, and other charges.
All three were arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 3 and released on unsecured bond: Comer on $3,000, Latifah Willingham on $4,000, and Reginald Willingham on $6,000.