A group of youths planned and carried out another mass "grab and run" shoplifting spree Friday at , but this time instead of arranging their rendezvous on Facebook, they used another network — the county bus system.
Most of them were arrested after an evening that began with them being tossed off one bus for rowdy behavior and being captured on another for stealing.
According to police reports:
At 7:36 p.m., a Milwaukee County bus driver reported that after he put eight to 10 disorderly juveniles off his bus at North 60th Street and West North Avenue, several of them stood in front of the bus to keep him from leaving while another kicked out the glass in the lower right door panel.
The driver said that one of them had also stolen a pad of bus transfers.
Apparently, the group avoided police and transit authorities and boarded another bus bound for Mayfair. Just about an hour after the first incident, eight of them were placed under arrest for theft after they boarded yet another bus waiting to leave Mayfair while they were laden with stolen clothing.
At 8:32 p.m., seven juveniles ranging from 13 to 17 years old — one from West Allis and the rest from Milwaukee — and one 19-year-old Milwaukee man were arrested after the mass theft from the Mayfair store.
The youths were seen entering the Polo merchandise section of the store together, all but one of them wearing black clothing. They were being monitored closely as they selected items of clothing when suddenly they all ran toward an exit with the goods.
They left the store and headed for a Milwaukee County Transit bus idling at a stop north of the store. The driver saw them running toward her bus carrying armloads of unbagged clothing, some of them trying to doff or don pieces of apparel as they ran.
She realized that a group theft was in progress and let them board, then hit an alarm that not only alerts police but also locks the doors of the bus, making the shoplifters captive in their intended getaway vehicle.
Police surrounded the bus and detained 10 individuals. Macy’s security could not identify two of them as having been involved, so they were released. The rest were positively identified and were arrested.
Concealed under seats throughout the bus was merchandise worth $2,096.50, including jeans, shirts, sweaters, socks and hats, all Polo brand.