Chattanooga police have arrested eight people and charged them with theft under $500 in connection with a sting that was conducted at Walmart parking lots in Chattanooga.
Investigators with the police property crimes division set up Thursday in the lots of the Walmart in Brainerd and Gunbarrel Road. The operation used two females who posed as shoppers leaving their purses on the trunks of their vehicle, then walking into the Walmart.
Charge with theft under $500 were Jermichael Bowling, Kelshia Hicks, Gaynor Espy, Joe Young, Sandra Harris, Marlin Dewayne Gates, Monica Gates and Elvis Carbajal-Osorio.
"With the holiday season approaching, Chattanooga police are taking a pro-active approach in deterring thefts from vehicles, auto thefts and parking lot robberies by conducting these types of stings and getting the message out we are out in the communities and are working to prevent these types of crimes," said police spokeswoman Lt. Kim Noorbergen.
Chattanooga police also reported that there were more honest shoppers than thieves, and 30 to 35 people who saw the purses that had been left quickly turned them in to the store.
"Chattanooga police want to commend these honest people and thank them for their honesty," the lieutenant said.