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Valley police keep busy with Black Friday crime

Black Fri Crime

LA QUINTA, Calif. - Black Friday shoppers were out hitting the stores to get the best bargain for their buck. One problem, "It's kind of a madhouse everywhere you go so it's easy for people to steal things or get away with things," said Tres Dean, of La Quinta.

Police caught three men from Los Angeles accused of doing just that. Suspected of stealing merchandise from this La Quinta Target just after 4:40 Friday morning. It's where "Loss Prevention Agents" first tried to arrest the suspects, when one of them showed a non lethal weapon, and while taking off in a black Ford Explorer, another suspect claimed he had a gun. Police later found the explorer at a Palm Desert gas station and arrested them for burglary.

Shoppers like Dean say there's a bigger price to pay when you steer clear of the checkout line.

"Once you're standing there in handcuffs with police officers, I'm sure you have to be thinking, 'Wow, this really isn't worth it.' And it's not," he said.

La Quinta police are bulking up patrols during this shopping frenzy and holiday season.

"We're going to be flooding the area with officers on bikes, in cars and plain clothes. We're going to use every means possible," said

"I think it's great. It makes those of us who aren't going to steal anything feel safe," said Dean.  

Over in Indio, police say a man robbed the First Bank on Avenue 42 near Jackson Street Friday morning. The man told the teller he was armed, the teller handed the robber some cash who then fled out of the bank on foot. The suspect was later spotted in a car heading toward I-10.

After a short pursuit, the suspect was pulled over on the freeway just between Washington and Cook Street and was later arrested.  

Dean says he's thankful he doesn't have any Black Friday horror stories to tell.

"Everybody's been pretty civil, not too many crazy things happening. I think some of that had to with the amount of police not only outside but inside the stores," he said.

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