Cross-dressing man arrested in shoplifting ring - - The News for South Mississippi

Cross-dressing man arrested in shoplifting ring


A man that police say dresses as a woman to shoplift is now in custody.

Detectives in Clarksville were looking for Randall Woods, 25, when he was arrested by Franklin police during a traffic stop over the weekend.

Clarksville officers said Woods and two women are organized shoplifters who steal for a profit.

"These are like the superstars of shoplifting," said Officer Jim Knoll of the Clarksville Police Department.

Knoll said boosters go into a store with a plan in mind, have a driver on the lookout outside, and will be gone in under a minute's time.

"They'll grab $3,000 or $4,000 worth of a product, and they're out in a minute," Knoll said. "They'll go out and take recons of the areas they're going to take products from. They'll look at surveillance, they'll look at the officers in there, they'll case the entry and exit points. They're a fairly well-oiled machine."

According to police, boosters belong to a large shoplifting ring.

"They're making something between $1,500 to $2,000 a week," said Knoll. "It's a large operation."

Boosters are believed to have stolen more than $30,000 worth of merchandise from stores on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard in Clarksville alone. Those thefts include Governor's Square Mall stores.

Since releasing a video of boosters in action last month, police said one of the woman featured, Jasmine Steele of Nashville, was arrested in Georgia. 

Last week, 21 Clarksville retailers met with Clarksville police to start a network to get the names and faces of known boosters spread around. The hope is that loss prevention officers will be able to stop them before it's too late.

"What we'd like to see is more retailers get on board," said Knoll. "The more available, the more information can get passed around. We're pretty excited about becoming part of this network."

Clarksville police are still looking for Marquisha Childress in the shoplifting ring.

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