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Cooperative Effort Leads To Arrest Of Chapel Hill Shoplifting Suspect

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Chapel Hill is showing that a cooperative partnership between police and local merchants can help solve crime.

Because of a program known as the Business Alert Network, a suspect in a series of shoplifting incidents was apprehended on Monday.

Last week, the Chapel Hill Police Department had sent an e-mail to several merchants providing a description of the suspect and asking them to be on the lookout. On Monday, one of the merchants recognized the suspect in his store and called 911.

Officers arrived and found the suspect in the store, looking at laptop computers. His red pickup truck was running outside.

The suspect was taken into custody for outstanding warrants in Chatham County. Chapel Hill investigators are attempting to make cases against him for other recent crimes.

The Business Alert Network is designed to exchange information between business owners and the Chapel Hill Police Department, much like a neighborhood watch group does in a residential setting.

Several times in recent weeks, local businesses have reported that a white male, approximately 30 years old, 6-0 and 170 pounds, has grabbed items and run from the business. He has been seen leaving the area in an 80's model red Chevy pickup with the license tag of PYM-6710.

In each of the cases, it was reported that the suspect loitered in the store for up to 30 minutes before grabbing the items and fleeing.

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