Three persons have turned themselves in at the Columbus Police Department for felony shoplifting after videos of their activity appeared on local news and social media outlets.
Four persons were being sought for stealing over $1,500 of “Yeti” coolers and backpacks from the Columbus Dick’s Sporting Goods on Highway 45 North. The incident occurred on May 20.
The three persons that turned themselves in are juveniles and will be charged with felony shoplifting. The fourth person in the video has been identified and is being sought by police.
“I have to thank the local news media for their assistance on this,” said Police Chief Fred Shelton. “Between the news media and social media, the video file was seen over 40,000 times in three days and received over 200 comments on Facebook. The persons that turned themselves in told us that the constant airing of the videos and photos encouraged them to turn themselves in to the police. They got a lot of pressure from family and friends and they did the right thing by coming to the police station and meeting with detectives.”
In the video, four persons are seen entering Dick’s Sporting Goods store, placing six high-end Yeti items into shopping bags from another store and then leaving without paying for the merchandise.
Since the suspects are juveniles, Columbus Police will not identify them. They will be processed and charged through the Lowndes County Juvenile Detention Center.