Undercover officer helps nab shoplifting suspect at Rock Hill store

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comJanuary 27, 2014 


— A man who police say tried stealing 14 personal hygiene items from a Rock Hill shop unwittingly told an undercover police officer what he was up to, and then later told police he would “man up” to his charges on Friday, according to a Rock Hill police report.

Just before 7 p.m., members of the Rock Hill Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit were performing surveillance on the Saluda Street Family Dollar in response to several shoplifting incidents at the store, the report states. One officer, in plain clothes, was stationed inside the store. Family Dollar employees were aware of the operation.

Billy Ray Whitlock, who police say stuffed personal hygiene products in his shirt and jacket, approached the plain-clothed officer and asked if he was “also stealing,” the report states. The officer replied: “Yeah, don’t tell nobody.”

After using an expletive, Whitlock said: “...that’s what I’m doing too,” and continued grabbing merchandise, police reported. That’s when officers confronted Whitlock and placed him under arrest, charging him with his third shoplifting offense. Whitlock admitted to officers that he was stealing and would “man up to the charge.”

By Monday, he was still held at the York County Detention Center on a $5,000 bond.

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