Two suspects charged in alleged retail theft operation

REHOBOTH BEACH — Delaware State Police arrested two suspects Tuesday after an investigation into an alleged organized retail theft operation.

The suspects, Lakorya Harrison, 31, of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Joshua R. Knox, 28, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, were transported back to Troop 4 in Georgetown.

State police said the initial incident occurred at around 12:35 p.m. after troopers were dispatched to the Sunglass Hut at 34986 Midway Outlet Drive for a fraud complaint.

The store employees told troopers that “two females” had entered the store and made a $440 purchase using a pre-paid American Express credit card.

25dsn Lakorya Harrison by .

Lakroya Harrison

Then, approximately eight minutes later, they attempted to make a $380 purchase on the same card but it was denied by the credit card company due to suspicious activity, police said.

The two females fled the store and were seen leaving in a white Cadillac Escalade, state police said.

Troopers in the area of the outlets found the vehicle matching the description the employees had given. It was in the parking lot near the Sunglass Hut outlet with no one inside, according to state police.

Within minutes, a female exited the Dooney & Burke retail store and began walking toward the parked SUV.

Upon her arrival at the vehicle she was taken into custody and provided what later turned out to be a false name, police said.

A male suspect was also observed in the Dooney & Bourke store with the female and upon observing a trooper approaching the store, dropped a bag on the ground and attempted to walk away from the area, state police said. He was taken into custody.

The bag which he allegedly dropped was recovered and contained two small baggies of powered cocaine (0.7 grams), authorities said.

A search warrant was then obtained on the white Cadillac. Detectives located multiple American Express pre-paid credit cards still in the manufacturer’s packaging, a laptop computer, a credit card coder/swiping device, and merchandise from various retail outlets, including Victoria’s Secrets, Michael Kors, Timberland, and Rack Room Shoes, police said.

25dsn Joshua R. Knox by .

Joshua R. Knox

All of the items were returned to the stores.

According to state police the investigation revealed the suspects would allegedly enter various Tanger Outlet stores.

They would make purchases or attempt to make purchases using the pre-paid credit cards that were coded with various victims’ account numbers.

Some of the purchases were greater than $800. One attempt was for more than $1,200, but was denied, authorities said.

Ms. Harrison was charged with two counts of identity theft, organized retail theft, two counts of second-degree forgery, criminal impersonation, second-degree, two counts of theft under $1,500, and two counts of attempted theft under $1,500.

Mr. Knox was charged with identity theft, possession of a controlled substance (cocaine), organized retail theft, second-degree conspiracy, theft under $1,500, attempted theft under $1,500, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Ms. Harrison was committed to Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in New Castle on $29,000 cash bond and Mr. Knox was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown on $20,000 cash bond.

Police said the relationship between the two is unknown and there is no surveillance photos available depicting others involved.

Police asked anyone with information on the incident or other possible suspects to contact Detective T. Shockley at 752-3812.

Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, online at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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