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Four arrested for shoplifting after police chase

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LAWTON Okla_ Police said a group of accused shoplifters were so desperate to get away with that so-called 'five finger' discount, they crashed their car trying to elude officers.

Officers happened to be patrolling Central Mall yesterday afternoon when several people came running out with bags of clothing.

"The security tags, they pulled them off the top of the pants, but there were more security devices hooked up and it set the alarm off," Lawton Police Lieutenant Larry LaFrance said.

An employee chased after the group. One woman even ripped one of the bags away from the would-be thieves.

"They went running out the door," LaFrance said. "A patrol officer was driving by and saw them bolt out. They hollered at them to stop. They ran to a car and started flying through the mall parking lot."

Officers said the driver didn't slow down for speed bumps or pedestrians.

"During Christmas shopping, there are more customers than normal," LaFrance said. Flying through the parking lot wasn't the safest thing in the world. Luckily, no one was hit."

LaFrance said the suspects sped out of the parking lot and into a nearby neighborhood, where they drove into a parked car and crashed. He said instead of giving up, all four suspects ran through alleys and over fences, willing to do anything to get away.

"The male subject was found a short time later," LaFrance said. "Hiding under someone's porch"

The three female suspects were taken down at gunpoint. LaFrance said the thefts may have been the way the suspects chose to get their holiday shopping done.

"It's that time of year," LaFrance said.

Police recovered all of the stolen merchandise, which turned out to be several pairs of jeans valued at nearly $600 dollars.

Police said the getaway driver had a suspended license and was already wanted on another warrant for his arrest on a previous store theft.

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