Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Teen Criminal Masterminds Devise Perfect Shoplifting Scheme

Brandon Rhoads

Brandon Rhoads

Two Florida teens, Brandon Rhoads, 17, and an unnamed cohort, 14, thought they had devised the perfect shoplifting scheme: one steals an item, in this case 4 packs of Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards, then the other, posing as an undercover cop, arrests him and hauls him out of the store before clerks realize anything’s missing. On September 2, 2012, the duo executed their ingenious plan. According to the police report, Rhoads entered a Walmart in Port St. Lucie with a “gun on his hip,” and asked store manager Laura Dougherty, 52, to “make a page for him.” Dougherty asked if he was a cop, and Rhoads answered by flashing a badge at her. “I need to see some ID first,” she insisted. Rhoads then became impatient and said, “I just really need you to make a page for me! Never mind, I’ll just do it myself!” He walked over to his accomplice and cuffed him with gray toy handcuffs, and escorted him out of the store. Smooth, but that was where their plan broke down: Dougherty thought the whole thing was too weird and followed them out to the parking lot. When the youths realized that she was following them, they took off running. Not smooth.

Dougherty called police, who chased the two down and nabbed them. Police found a a set of toy handcuffs and a wallet containing a badge on Rhoads, and retrieved the pellet gun that Rhoads had ditched by a PetCo. His friend had the Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards, about $20 worth. When asked what they were doing in the store they “admitted to planning a “fake arrest” in order to “not get caught” shoplifting. When asked why they ran, both suspects answered that, “They did not want to get caught for stealing” or “pretending to be a cop.” Oh well, they were both arrested. Rhoads was charged with impersonating a police officer, his companion with shoplifting, and both with resisting arrest, all misdemeanors,┬ábefore officers dragged them off and called their parents.

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