An Antioch and Hayward woman were arrested Saturday by Petaluma Police after reported retail theft activity at the Petaluma Village Premium Outlets. The estimated loss was over $2,500.
The suspects were identified as Erynn Chavis, 18 of Antioch, and Leimani Lee-Barker, 18 of Hayward who were taken into custody after a brief pursuit.
According to Petaluma police, officers were dispatched to a retail theft actively occurring at Tommy Hilfiger in the Petaluma Village Premium Outlets. A description of the suspects and their vehicle was provided, and the estimated loss was over $2,500.00.
The suspects fled prior to officer(s) arrival. Due to a recent series of similar retail thefts in Sonoma and Marin Counties, an officer quickly responded to watch Highway 101 at East Washington Street, as recent investigations have suggested organized theft crews are operating out of east bay cities.
Police say within seconds, the officer spotted the described vehicle traveling southbound on Highway 101, obtained the license plate, and attempted to stop it. The vehicle immediately sped up to speeds around 85 MPH, and a pursuit was initiated. Due to rainy conditions, traffic, and the suspect’s unsafe driving, the pursuit was terminated after the officer lost sight of the vehicle when it exited San Marin Drive in Novato.
Shortly thereafter, a Novato Police officer located the abandoned vehicle parked near where it was last seen. Two females, identified as Leimani Lee-Barker and Erynn Chavis, matching the provided descriptions were located nearby and arrested. The driver remains outstanding but has been tentatively identified. However, police are withholding his name is not being released at this time.
The vehicle was seized as evidence, and Lee-Barker and Chavis were booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of grand theft.