By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER – Five people were caught shoplifting at Kohl’s Department Store during the post-Thanksgiving weekend, including a couple accompanied by a 5-year-old child, police said.
Kohl’s, at 350 Winthrop Ave., called police at 4:22 p.m. Saturday to report a loss prevention officer had caught an “uncooperative” couple stealing merchandise. The man and woman were accompanied by a 5-year-old, police said.
Seth Ryan Raymond, 26, of 66 Manchester St., Lowell, was charged with larceny over $250. Briana Leigh Robinson, 24, of the same address, was charged with larceny under $250.
Both will be summonsed into Lawrence District Court, according to Patrolman Jason Wedge, who investigated the incident. Asked if police had filed a report with the state Department of Children and Families, Lt. Charles Gray said he did not have that information last night.
Slightly more than two hours earlier, at 2:17 p.m., Jose Polanco-Vargas, 24, of 85 High St., Lawrence, was arrested at Kohl’s and charged with shoplifting by concealment. A loss prevention officer described him as “uncooperative,” police said.
Wilfredo Vila, 33, of 401 Haverhill St., Lawrence, was arrested at 12:27 p.m. Friday by Patrolman Jay Staude and charged with shoplifting. Staude was on a directed patrol in the area and saw Vila being chased out of the store, Gray said. After a brief foot chase, Staude caught Vila on the bank of the Shawsheen River, he said.
Police received a call from Kohl’s at 2:47 a.m. Friday that a loss prevention officer had an alleged shoplifter in custody. The woman ended up not being charged with shoplifting, but was issued a no-trespass order and told to stay away from Kohl’s.
The store had opened early for “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving. During the holiday shopping season, police maintain a greater presence near Kohl’s, Market Basket and other stores along Route 114, Gray said.
By assigning directed patrols to the Route 114 shopping corridor, “we’re right there” when store employees catch or pursue a shoplifter, he said. North Andover police began increasing their vigilance in the area a few years ago.
“Last year, we made our first arrest (on Black Friday) at 2:30 a.m.,” he said.
The stepped-up police presence acts as a “visible deterrent,” Gray said.
The lieutenant did not have any details on what the alleged shoplifters stole. Kohl’s management could not be reached for comment last night.