A wrong turn leads to arrest
Publication Date: Wednesday Sep 20, 1995

POLICE: A wrong turn leads to arrest

Suspected shoplifters get caught with $13,000 of stolen clothes

Two Southern California women made an illegal left turn in East Palo Alto on Sept. 8--one that for them became a turn for the worse.

Officer Jeff Justis was nearby on his motorcycle when he saw the red Chevy Blazer make an illegal turn over two lanes through the intersection of University Avenue and Bell Street, so he pulled the vehicle over a block later and began writing a ticket.

What he discovered was that the driver was wanted on a $100,000 warrant from Los Angeles for burglary, and the other woman, who didn't have any identification, was getting very nervous.

He and other officers soon found out why. In the back seat of the Blazer, they discovered $13,000 worth of stolen clothing from stores like Nordstrom, Neiman-Marcus and Ann Taylor, many with store tags on them.

Along with the garments they found a box and a garment bag with false bottoms lined with aluminum foil, which professional shoplifters use to avoid setting off store sensors.

"They had gone to some extent to line the bag with foil," said Sgt. Don O'Keefe of the East Palo Alto Regional Investigative Bureau. "Sometimes the foil works, and sometimes it doesn't."

It took a telephone call for a manual records search before the officers figured out that the second woman was wanted on a no-bail drug warrant, also by the LAPD.

Carolyn Jones, 51, of Los Angeles, was booked on the drug warrant and for possession of stolen property.

Sylvia McDaniel, 50, of Hawthorne, was booked on the outstanding warrant, and for possession of stolen property and making an illegal left turn.

--Don Kazak

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