Tchequera Dataye Brown
Alexious Qyuiana Johnson
Melinda Renee Thomas
Three Georgia women are facing charges of violating the Organized Retail Crime law after being caught trying to make a haul from the Bass Pro Shop in East Ridge.
Arrested - after their vehicle struck two police cars while trying to get away - were Melinda Renee Thomas, 45, of 1003 Alpine Court, Athens, Ga., Tchequera Dataye Brown, 35, of Turtle Creek, Winder, Ga., and Alexious Qyuiana Johnson, 23, of 310 Kennedy Circle, Athens, Ga.
Ms. Thomas was also charged with aggravated assault, felony evading arrest and reckless driving.
In the incident on Tuesday afternoon, East Ridge Police were alerted by Bass Pro Shop security that three women were stealing large numbers of items from the store at Camp Jordan Parkway.
Two of the women were observed to be concealing 20 hats. The third woman was said to be shielding them as they stole.
Multiple police officers arrived on the scene as the women were leaving the store. They were seen getting into a white Dodge Charger sedan. One officer got behind the car and initiated his emergency lights.
The driver backed into the officer's marked patrol car, colliding into the push bumper.
The Dodge tried to maneuver through the parking lot as another police vehicle approached. The driver went into a median, then ran into the front of the second police car. The Dodge became stuck on the curb.
Officers surrounded the Dodge and detained two female occupants. The third woman, Alexious Johnson, was located nearby walking toward Camp Jordan Parkway. She was placed in handcuffs, as were the two women who had been in the car.
Ball caps were in plain view in the front passenger seat of the Dodge.
Police said Ms. Thomas admitted taking about 40 hats to feed her heroin habit.
Several hats were found in a black purse in the front passenger area.
Bass Pro Shop officials said 58 hats were taken in all worth $1,475.79 at the sale price.
Large amounts of new merchandise, including Yeti travel mugs and hats, were found in trash bags in the vehicle.