Top Case 9 - August 18, 1992: Horne’s Department Store, Natrona Heights, PA PDF Print E-mail

August 18, 1992: Horne’s Department Store, Natrona Heights, PA: "Security Perch Incident"


 …Around 3:45 pm, while in the Security Perch overlooking the Varsity Department, I observed four young males (late teens to early 20’s) enter the store though the entrance near Men’s Bravo. All four then began gathering up merchandise and placing it behind the Levi’s jeans tables in the Men’s Bravo area near the doors.  One of the subject’s, while kneeling behind one of the jeans tables, concealed merchandise (jeans, ball caps, a B.U.M. backpack) inside another one of our B.U.M. backpacks. I called the Credit Office and instructed the operator to get a couple associates – stock boys for backup – and have them go outside and wait on the sidewalk near the exit doors. Harrison Township Police were also called and they sent two patrol cars to wait in the parking lot. While I waited for the operator to make the call and the police to get here, one of the subjects found the entrance door to the perch where I was concealed. After entering the bottom of the perch, he looked up to where I was looking out the 2-way glass on the upper level, but didn’t see me. He then left apparently feeling confident no one from security was watching.

One of the four subjects then walked outside while the other three picked up their piles of merchandise. They were standing near the door holding everything (apparently waiting for the getaway car to pull up) when the one who went outside came back in. He must have spotted one of the police cars, because the one who concealed merchandise in the backpack then began pointing out into the parking lot, as if he was trying to get the attention of the person in the waiting car. All four of them put everything down right by the first jeans table, then they all walked down to the Children’s Dept to look out the window. They then all walked as a group and stood near the payphone in the foyer of the center set of doors. They left the store by two’s, walking back to a light blue Plymouth Reliant that was waiting for them in the parking lot across from the Varsity doors. They got in the car and left, but before they could leave the Plaza parking lot, the police pulled them over and took them to the Harrison Twp. Police station for identification purposes. Police did conduct a search of the subjects and found a firearm in the vehicle. Forty-seven clothing items valued at $1,618.97 were recovered near the front doors stuffed into backpacks.

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