Police: Man Recognized as Past Shoplifter Found Shoplifting Again

Mug shot James Coates of Stamford shoplifting

Photo from Darien P.D.

Arrest photo of James Coates, 42, of Stamford

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Employees at Stop & Shop in Noroton Heights carefully watched the 42-year-old man who entered the store Tuesday afternoon because they knew him from past shoplifting incidents, police said.

That paid off, according to a police report, when he acted suspiciously and attempted to leave the store, was confronted by employees and found to have many items in his coat. They came from the Walgreens pharmacy next door, police said.

Mug shot James Coates of Stamford shoplifting

Photo from Darien P.D.

Arrest photo of James Coates, 42, of Stamford

Darien police described what happened with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

Police were called at 3:25 p.m., Tuesday by an employee 0f the supermarket at 138 Heights Road.

Store employees told police that James Coates of Southwood Drive in Stamford was spotted in the store and watched.

They saw him fill his shopping cart with items, then when he got to a register, he told the clerk he didn’t have money to pay. He left the cart and everything in it and tried to leave the store, but an employee confronted him, telling him it was apparent that he had thing shidden under his jacket.

Coates admitted to the employee that he had stolen the items from Walgreens, next door.



When police arrived, they questioned Coates, and he confessed to stealing the pharmacy items. He was arrested, and the items in his coat were returned to Walgreens.

Employees there checked the prices on all the items, which totaled $166.86. This is what he stole:

  • toothpaste
  • woman’s deodorant
  • deodorant
  • hand lotion
  • mouth wash
  • mouth wash with a teeth-whitening agent
  • men’s deodorant
  • Febreeze
  • hand lotion
  • baby oil

When Walgreens employees looked at a store video surveillance recording, they saw Coates removing items from shelves, putting them in his jacket, then leaving the store without paying.

When police conducted a routine check to see if Coates had a criminal record, they found Stamford police had an arrest warrant for him on a charge of sixth-degree larceny.

Coates was charged with sixth-degree larceny and was released to Stamford police. He is scheduled to appear March 23 in state Superior Court in Stamford.

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