A convicted thief from Lubbock, a Hobbs woman and another Lubbock man have been charged after police say they ran out of a Hobbs department store last week with their arms loaded with nearly $5,000 of clothing and jewelry.
After a traffic stop was attempted, police said the trio sped through a retail store parking lot, nearly striking two women with children, before the alleged ring-leader fled on foot crossing Loving-ton Highway, nearly getting struck by several vehicles.
The alleged ring-leader, Terrance Lashan Sims, of Lubbock, 25, was arrested on a warrant Tuesday and charged with shoplifting over $2,500 under $25,000, a third-degree felony, and conspiracy to commit a third-degree felony, a fourth-degree felony. Police said Sims has a criminal history of shoplifting.
Cedric De’Shawn Paytoen, 18, of Lubbock, was arrested June 26 and charged with resisting, evading, obstructing an officer.
Brittany C. Evans, 20, of Hobbs, was arrested June 26 and charged with resisting, evading, obstructing an officer, a misdemeanor, and failure to appear, a petty misdemeanor.
Hobbs police said an officer was dispatched to a department store in the 1400 block of North Turner Street the afternoon of June 26. Store employees said three people stole clothing off the racks and got into a sport utility vehicle, heading north on Turner Street.
Police said a different officer spotted the SUV with a temporary license tag going north on Lovington Highway, and a third officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop at a store parking lot on Joe Harvey Boulevard. But police said the SUV crossed into oncoming traffic on Joe Harvey Boulevard and then went through a retail store’s parking lot at a high speed.
“Officers observed the vehicle nearly strike two female subjects, each holding a small child, and a male subject further down the front of the store,” states a criminal complaint against Sims, Paytoen and Evans. “Officers advised the vehicle swerved around vehicles before driving over a curb and coming to a complete stop on the northeast side of the parking lot.”
Police said three people jumped out of the SUV and started running through a daycare center.
Evans was found running by a nearby hotel, where police said she ignored orders to stop and was tackled by an officer.
“At first, Brittany would not give officers her hands, and continued yelling into a cellphone she had in her right hand,” states the criminal complaint.
Police said Sims crossed Lovington Highway, running through traffic, and was almost struck by several vehicles before he was subdued.
Police said Paytoen was spotted walking north along Lovington Highway. A witness told police Paytoen jumped a fence into a yard full of trailers, where he was found lying on the ground.
The SUV was towed to the Hobbs Police Department to be searched.
“Officers could see the back seat and third row seats full of clothing still on the hangers, as well as jewelry still in the package in the back seat,” states the criminal complaint. “Officers did locate an empty shoe box and a pair of Nike flip-flops in the yard of the daycare center, which was the route taken by the subjects.”
During criminal history checks, police said they learned Sims had two active warrants out of Midland County, Texas, for theft of property greater than $2,500. Sims also had two prior theft convictions and a violation of bond.
Evans had an active warrant out of Lovington magistrate court for failure to appear.
Police said they obtained a video of the SUV driving erratically through the retail store parking lot. They also interviewed the department store manager, who said one of the male suspects had orange hair.
“(The manager) advised he observed two male subjects and a female subject grab as many articles of clothing as they could off the racks and run out of the store,” states the criminal complaint. “(The manager) said he did not know how many items were taken as it was hard to tell what all they grabbed in the piles of clothing.”
The department store manager tallied the value of the stolen merchandise after police searched the SUV. The manager provided receipts totaling $4,857.
“During the search, officers located three large piles of clothing in the second and third rows of seating, as well as the trunk,” states the criminal complaint. “Every article of clothing was on a hanger, still had a price tag and had the ink cartridge attached.”
Police said during an interview, Sims admitted to stealing the clothes and fleeing.
“Terrance advised he shoplifts from stores to sell and make money,” states the criminal complaint.