GURNEE (STMW) — Police used a coordinated attack on retail theft for the first time, linking up with retailers at Gurnee Mills and arresting four people.

“Partnering with the retailers in the mall to combat crime is essential. We hope to build upon this success and continue conducting similar operations at various times in the future,” Police Chief Kevin Woodside said Friday. He was pleased with the results of this first specialized effort targeting retail crime that recovered $3,900 in stolen property.

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At 1 p.m. Thursday, the department’s special Organized Retail Crime Detail went to Gurnee Mills to target retail theft suspects operating in the regional shopping center. Eight plainclothes Gurnee officers and two from the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group teamed up with mall security and loss prevention officers from several retailers to conduct surveillance on suspects.

Just before 8 p.m., officers stopped two suspects in a vehicle outside Entry F. The two females taken into custody for retail theft were Coca Bates, 29, and Markesha Wren, 27, both of Milwaukee. Bates also was charged with burglary and obstructing identification. Wren had an additional charge of resisting arrest and her vehicle was taken for possible forfeiture, police said.

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About a half hour later, officers stopped two theft suspects outside the Nike Factory Store. They arrested Kyle Pecore, 29, from Gresham, Wis., and charged him with retail theft. He was also wanted on a warrant from Boone County, Ill., for traffic charges. The second suspect, Dianna Chevalier, 28, of Oneida, Wis., was charged with retail theft and released on a recognizance bond. All the other suspects were due in bond court Friday.

Members of the new police Visitor Orientated Policing Unit were involved in the operation. That unit targets problems that may affect visitors to the village.

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(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)