Westport police chief catches accused shoplifters
WESTPORT — Just after two New York residents allegedly stole items from stores downtown, they were busted by the town’s top cop — Chief Foti Koskinas.
Sharon Harrison, 45, of Bronx, N.Y., and Odane Grant, 23, of Mount Vernon, N.Y., were each charged with possession of a shoplifting device, fifth-degree larceny (shoplifting), conspiracy to commit fifth-degree larceny, weapons in a motor vehicle and fifth-degree larceny (possession).
Around 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Koskinas spotted two suspects — later identified as Harrison and Grant — in downtown that “appeared to be concealing items in oversized purses,” police said.
But first, the chief wanted confirmation on what he thought he saw.
A police investigator popped into one of the retailers in downtown and employees said two people came into the store with big bags and acted suspiciously, adding that items had been taken from the shop.
“Employees returned to the area where the male was believed to have stolen Adidas merchandise and located 4 store security tags hidden in another pair of pants,” police said.
Employees gave descriptions of the suspects, matching the description of the two people the chief saw minutes earlier.
“Chief Koskinas observed (them) enter a vehicle and initiated a motor vehicle stop on Post Road East once it was confirmed a shoplifting had occurred,” police said. “The operator and passenger were positively identified as the two suspects that had been inside the store.”
When officers searched the car, they found nearly $700 worth of stolen merchandise from the store and a magnet that the suspects allegedly used to remove the store security tags, police said. Officers also found about 15 bags with more than $900 in merchandise believed to be stolen from other stores.
“Nearly every item still had store tags affixed,” police said.
The charge of having a weapon in a motor vehicle was related to a metal baseball bat that officers found between the driver’s door and driver’s seat.
Bail for Harrison was set at $2,500 and bail for Grant was set at $2,500.
Harrison was held and brought to court for arraignment Friday. Court records for Harrison’s next court date were not available Friday.
Grant was released after posting bail and is expected in court on Oct. 10.