The case against an Arlington man accused of shoplifting items from the Fair Oaks Hecht's is heading for the grand jury. He is Juan C. Claros, 47, of 1711 S. Taylor St.
THE OFFENSE occurred Sept. 14 in the store in Fair Oaks Mall. And on Feb. 22 in Fairfax County General District Court, Jody Godfrey, a loss-prevention officer for the Hecht Co., testified. (A Spanish-language interpreter, meanwhile, translated the proceedings for Claros).
"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 then stated 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 — second or subsequent offense. And in court, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Katie Swart presented evidence of two prior convictions of Claros.
JUDGE ROBERT SMITH then found probable cause that Claros committed the crime of which he is accused and certified the case to the next grand jury for possible indictment. He also set a date of April 12 for Claros' jury trial in Circuit Court.
Following Claros' arrest, he was released from the Adult Detention Center on $5,000 bond, so he's currently free while awaiting trial.
<tgl> — Bonnie Hobbs