Hemet pair arrested after caught shoplifting

HEMET — A pair of alleged shoplifters who were already known to authorities due to the countless calls for law enforcement service the couple has caused was arrested yesterday afternoon, Friday, July 12, after store employees and police officers thwarted their attempt to steal merchandise from Hemet’s Target store on Florida Ave.

According to witnesses and others familiar with the pair, the couple was caught shoplifting at the same store just one week earlier. Friends of the two also later told RCNS the couple has been repeatedly reported to law enforcement for other reasons; such as causing public disturbances, shoplifting at other Hemet locations, and suspected child-neglect related issues.

Despite being arrested – and later released with citations to appear in court at a later date – the couple caused yet another series of public disturbances that officers responded to just a few hours later.


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Hemet police officers were dispatched to the Target around 12:30 p.m., after receiving reports of a suspected shoplifting in progress. Store loss prevention officers told emergency dispatchers they had been watching the couple as they went through the store selecting and hiding items in their purse and clothing. The employees described the pair as a Black female and Hispanic male, who had recently been caught shoplifting during another incident.

When officers arrived at the scene they met with loss prevention officers outside the business and waited for the pair to exit the store with the stolen merchandise.

Just minutes after officer’s arrival, the couple walked past the open and manned checkout registers and left the store, where they walked right into the hands of waiting officers and loss prevention officials.

A pair of alleged shoplifters were apprehended after trying to leave Hemet’s Target store with merchandise that loss prevention officers say they attempted to steal. Sergio Rodriguez/Hemet Valley Incidents photo

Upon seeing the officers approaching the woman, later identified as Tracy Adams, attempted to discard a baggie of suspected heroin onto the ground. However, officers spotted her attempt and immediately recovered the baggie, before a child or anyone else could find and pick up the dangerous narcotics.

The male, identified as Thomas Brito, was not cooperative with officers and had a knife in his pocket, which officials also collected.

After detaining the pair officers found and recovered the stolen merchandise, which was documented and photographed, before being returned to the store’s employees. Officers also determined the pair were under the influence of illegal narcotics, according to official radio traffic and witnesses at the scene.

After their arrest the couple was transported to Hemet PD, where they were eventually cited and released from custody.

Despite their brush with the law and arrest, the pair was spotted just a few hours later arguing loudly outside Hemet’s Big Lots, less than four miles from the Target location.

Their argument became so violent and heated, witnesses called 911 and requested law enforcement officers respond. Witnesses also shouted that they had called the police, at which time the pair fled the area, prior to officers’ arrival.

A short time later they were spotted in a heated argument near a church on Kirby St. and police were once again called. Although officers searched the area, they were not immediately able to locate the couple.

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Sergio Rodriguez/Hemet Valley Incidents photos and videos

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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