Shoplifters Targeted, Arrested, Booked
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has been actively investigating a number of incidents of commercial burglary and grand theft occurring at Target stores in Valencia and Canyon Country.
At least four incidents, apparently being perpetrated by the same individuals, had been reported over the past three weeks resulting in the theft of thousands of dollars worth of portable electronics and other items.
Each incident was caught on highly-sophisticated video surveillance systems and that information was shared between all the concerned investigative entities and patrol deputies from the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station.
All the hard work and partnership paid off Monday afternoon at the Target store located on Golden Valley Road in Canyon Country, when loss prevention officials spotted the male suspect and a female accomplice in the store. The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station was immediately called in and deputies apprehended Richard Hetherington, 41, and Pamela Schaffer, 39, both of Canyon Country, as they were leaving the store. They also took the suspects' 11-month-old baby boy into protective custody.
The suspects were found to be in possession of methamphetamine and counterfeit US currency. A search of the suspects' hotel room at Extended Stay America on Pico Canyon Road in Stevenson Ranch resulted in the recovery of more than 40 items they suspect were stolen during other incidents of commercial burglary and theft in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Among the items recovered were computers, cameras, video games, two-way radios, tools, carving knives, an iPod and dozens of other items. Deputies also recovered more counterfeit currency and more than 200 papers containing identification and credit card information belonging to other individuals. Additional follow-up investigative operations are expected in the coming days.
Hetherington and Schaffer were taken to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. Hetherington was booked on suspicion of felony burglary, identity theft, possession of counterfeit US currency, and possession of a controlled substance. He is being held in lieu of $130,000 bail pending future court proceedings.
Schaffer was booked on suspicion of felony burglary, possession of a controlled substance and identity theft. She also had several outstanding warrants for theft and is being held in lieu of more than $340,000 bail pending future court proceedings.
Anyone with information regarding these suspects or the crimes is asked to contact Detective Jeffrey Jackson of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station at (661) 799-5151.