Petaluma Police Make Arrest in Organized Retail Theft Investigation; Two Suspects Still at Large
Sonoma County authorities have announced an arrest amid a multi-jurisdictional investigation into recent organized retail theft.
Police began investigating after responding to a report of grand theft at the Ulta Beauty Store at Coddingtown Mall on the afternoon of Sunday, September 11. Three men had allegedly entered the store, stole a large amount of fragrance products, and fled in a cream-colored sedan, police said.
This was the second grand theft at an Ulta Store in the county that day. A similar theft had taken place at another location in Petaluma just an hour earlier. After the earlier theft, Petaluma police had advised Santa Rosa police that locations in their area could be targeted.
Santa Rosa police caught up with the suspect vehicle along southbound Highway 101 and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver instead led them on a pursuit, reportedly driving erratically and at high speed (at times over 100 mph, police said). Police ultimately called off the pursuit out of concern for public safety.
A short time later, Petaluma officers received a tip that three men were seen abandoning the stolen goods in a dumpster in the city. Officers responded and located one of the men — identified as 27-year-old Trezell Heckard of Vallejo. Heckard was taken into custody after a short foot pursuit. The other two had left in the car before officers arrived, police said.
Heckard was booked at the Sonoma County jail for parole violation, as well as various charges related to the thefts. The other two suspects have yet to be identified and remain at large.
The investigation is active and ongoing.