A trio of defendants was charged with stealing nearly $4,000 in merchandise from Dillards and with possessing 22 fake credit cards in Douglas County Magistrate Court Monday.
Dominique Javius, 26, and Terome Scott, 34, both of Baton Route, La. were charged with shoplifting and theft by receiving for incidents at Arbor Place Mall over the weekend. Christopher Coleman, 35, of Connecticut was arrested and charged with giving a false name, forgery, identity fraud, felony obstruction of justice and four counts of misdemeanor obstruction of justice.
Javius and Scott are accused of stealing 15 pair of Miss Me jeans, a Gucci cologne set, four Mophie phone cases, two LifeProof phone cases, six Dooney and Bourke purses and an Antonio Melani purse. All said, the value of the items added up to $3,795. Police believe they had stolen items from places in their home state and at malls in Alabama before their stop in Douglasville.
Scott was also charged with fleeing and eluding and driving on a suspended license. The two said they are boyfriend and girlfriend.
Police believe Coleman may have been serving as a lookout for Javius and Scott, though they said they don't know each other. He was found with 22 fake credit cards, according to Douglasville Police Department Investigator Leland Hester, and fought police during his arrest. The altercation left Coleman with a black eye and one of the officers needed stitches for a head injury.
Douglas County Sheriff's Office Investigator Jesse Hambrick said an officer working security at Dillard's saw Javius go into a dressing room with four pair of jeans and come out with one pair. He also saw Scott stick a purse in his jacket.
The duo led police on a short chase when confronted, Hambrick said, that went from Olive Garden to Jared Jewelers on Douglas Boulevard. Officers had to box the car in before they would stop. A loaded gun was found in the car as well. Hambrick said it's hard for police to tell how much merchandise came from Dillard's locally and how much might have been stolen from other malls en route.
Javius told a different story.
"We came to visit (Scott's) brother," said Javius, who claimed to be a Subway manager in her home state. "I had receipts in my purse, I tried to tell the deputy. I had bank statements and he kept telling me to shut the (expletive) up and I don't have (expletive) to say."
Though it was the first arrest for Javius, Scott and Coleman both have long records.
Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ackley asked for no bond.
"We need to hold them," she said. "All three of these defendants are going to be flight risks."
Scott did not speak when given the option to explain his actions, but Coleman denied being involved.
"I don't live too far from the mall, so I go to the mall as a hangout," he said.
Hester seemed to doubt Coleman's claims.
"I'm sure everybody just hangs out with 22 fake credit cards," he said.
Coleman denied having the cards as well, at least most of them.
"I don't recall having 22 fake credit cards on me," he said. "The fake ID, yes, I did. It was stupidity, but I had one... I know for a fact I didn't have no 20 anything on me in my pocket. I'm not gonna sit here and play the angel role. I'm not gonna sit here and say I don't play, like I'm an angel. But this person that they think I am, I'm not."
When asked by Douglas County Magistrate Court Judge Susan Camp if he had any fake credit cards, Coleman said he had "maybe two."
Bond was denied for all three suspects as Camp felt they are a flight risk. More charges are expected against all three suspects.