Mall Shoplifting Yields 18 Months Prison

Mall Shoplifting Yields 18 Months Prison

An Arlington man accused of shoplifting items from the Fair Oaks Hecht's has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. He is Juan C. Claros, 47, of 1711 S. Taylor St.

The offense occurred Sept. 14, 2004, in the store in Fair Oaks Mall. On Feb. 22 in Fairfax County General District Court, Jody Godfrey, a loss-prevention officer for the Hecht Co., testified about what happened.

"I saw him in the jewelry department," said Godfrey. "He picked out a watch and broke off the sensor tag. I also saw him go to the men's department and select two pair of jeans. He then entered the dressing room with them." Godfrey added that, when Claros left the dressing room, he was not holding the jeans in plain sight.

"I checked the dressing room, and they weren't there," said the officer. "We apprehended [Claros] outside the store. The watch was in his left jeans pocket, and the two pair of pants were concealed under his clothing."

In his written, criminal complaint, Godfrey listed the value of the stolen items as just under $200. He also wrote that he'd observed Claros on camera, concealing the watch and jeans before leaving the store.

Police charged Claros, an unemployed construction worker, with petit larceny — third or subsequent offense. And in court, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Katie Swart presented evidence of two prior convictions.

The grand jury indicted him on March 21. He pleaded guilty, April 12, in Circuit Court and returned, June 3, for sentencing. At that time, Judge Michael McWeeny sentenced Claros to one year and six months in prison and placed him on one year's post-release supervision.