Family Says They Were Held At Gunpoint For Shoplifting Doll, Now Truth Is Out

Phoenix police are investigating an incident where shoplifting suspects have complained that police behaved badly.

Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix police are investigating what happened when police stopped a shoplifting family after both father and daughter were caught stealing from a Family Dollar store (video below).

The family has claimed their unbeknownst to them, their young child took a doll without paying.

But surveillance video from the store showed that the family, who has threatened a $10 million lawsuit against Phoenix police for stopping them, was actually shoplifting.

The incident occurred on May 27 at the Family Dollar store on McDowell Road and 36th Street after store employees notified police about several shoplifters who were leaving the store, the Arizona Republic reported.

Phoenix Police Officer Nicholas Welch was already at the Dollar Store dealing with another shoplifting complaint when the manager pointed out 22-year-old Dravon Ames, 24-year-old Lesha Harper, their two young daughters, and 48-year-old Renita Lynn Biscoe and said they had stolen a bunch of toys, according to the incident report from the Phoenix Police Department.

Store surveillance video showed that prior to the store manager’s intervention, Biscoe and the four year old were standing near the checkout inside the store.

The little girl was carrying a Baby Alive doll.

All of a sudden, Biscoe put down the items she was holding and left the store. The four-year-old girl followed her, still carrying the doll which had not been paid for.

A second surveillance video showed Ames inside the Family Dollar as he appeared to be shopping for underwear.

In the video, Ames was holding a package before he turned his back to the camera, and then when he turned back around, the package was gone, the Arizona Republic reported.

That’s when the store manager notified the officer who was already there in response to another shoplifting call.

When the suspects saw Officer Welch looking at them, they fled to their vehicle in the parking lot, but the officer managed to stop Biscoe from leaving, the Arizona Republic reported.

Biscoe put down the foil she had been holding before she left the store, so the officer didn’t see her actually steal anything from the Family Dollar, but it turned out that she was already wanted on warrants by Phoenix, the city of El Mirage, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), according to the police report.

Officers attempted to stop Ames, but he fled from them in his vehicle.

An officer located Ames driving after he fled, and initiated a high-risk traffic stop on him at a nearby apartment complex.

The officers ordered the occupants to put their hands up.

Ames began yelling at police that he hadn’t done anything wrong and then reached for something between the seats, according to the police report.

The officer pulled his weapon and ordered them again to put their hands up while saying, "You're gonna f---ing get shot!"

Officers continued to use profanity while giving orders to the family.

Ames started to comply by placing his hands on the steering wheel, but Harper yelled “I have my child in here. I am not putting my hands up!” according to the police report.

Backup officers arrived and Ames complied with orders to get out of the vehicle and was taken into custody.

A cell phone video filmed by a bystander showed Ames lying on the pavement on his stomach while an officer handcuffed him, KPNX reported.

Then the officer stood Ames up and pushed him up against side of a police SUV and ordered him to spread his legs apart.

The video showed the when Ames failed to spread his legs far enough apart, the officer kicked Ames’ right leg out further out, and the man fell to his knees.

That’s when an officer opened the back door of the suspects’ vehicle and ordered Harper out of the car, the video showed.

The four-year-old girl was the first to emerge from the backseat and the video showed the officer immediately holstered his weapon when she appeared.

Then Harper got out carrying a toddler on her hip, the video showed.

In the video, she argued with the police officer who wanted her to step over to a shady area and set the baby down, the Arizona Republic reported.

Harper behaved in a combative manner toward officers throughout the video.

“This is all for nothing,” she cried hysterically as officers walked her and her children across the parking lot.

The officers let Harper pass the children to a friend and then placed her in handcuffs, the video showed.

Police found the stolen doll in the backseat of the suspects’ vehicle, according to the police report.

Harper told police she was in the grocery store next door and her aunt, Biscoe, had taken her four-year-old daughter into the Family Dollar.

She said she knew the doll had to be stolen when she saw it because she knew her aunt and daughter had no money when they went into the store, according to the police report.

Harper said she heard Officer Welch tell them to stop, and that she told Ames to stop, but that he ignored her and continued to flee.

Police did not arrest Harper and she was released shortly thereafter.

When police interviewed Ames, he admitted to stealing a pair of underwear from the Family Dollar, according to the police report.

He said that he threw them out the window somewhere between the store and the apartment complex.

The police report said Ames admitted to officers that he ran because he was scared because his license was suspended from a DUI.

Ames was issued a citation for driving on a suspended license and released. His car was impounded, according to the police report.

No one was arrested for shoplifting because the store manager declined to prosecute, The Washington Post reported.

Maricopa County court records showed that Ames was involved in a car crash on Oct. 31, 2018 and was arrested in connection with assaulting two officers who responded to the scene, the Arizona Republic reported.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams called what she saw of the arrests in the bystanders’ videos “unacceptable” and said that the officers involved had been taken off patrol and assigned to desk duty while the incident was investigated, KPNX reported.

Chief Williams said the officers were not wearing bodycams because they haven’t been given to police in that precinct yet, but promised to expedite the investigation.

"I am with everyone in the community who is angry, who is outraged,” the chief said. “I have officers out there who are angry and outraged to see this is what brush we are being painted with when I know we that we're better than that, I know this department is better than that, I know our community is better than that but at the end of the day I have to take responsibility and be accountable.”

Ames and Harper held a press conference with their attorney on Monday and demanded that the police officers be fired.

They also announced their intention to sue the city for $10 million and alleged that officers “committed battery, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, infliction of emotional distress, and violation of civil rights under the fifth and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution,” The Washington Post reported.

The lawsuit claims that the four-year-old has been having nightmares and wetting the bed since the incident.

It also says that Ames was left with a limp and no transportation to work, The Washington Post reported.

Watch surveillance video of the shoplifting and the arrests below. WARNING - Language:

Comments (104)
No. 1-27
Mig Alley
Mig Alley

Ok store owners, new rule. When you have 13%ers in your store all security cameras are shut off and yes the ones in the parking lot as well /s 🙄

Do-The-Job-Right
Do-The-Job-Right

Punk officers deserve jail.

Do-The-Job-Right
Do-The-Job-Right

Kid accidentally walks out with a $1 toy while the officers blow through millions. No more paid vacations. No more Bonuses. Oh hell just arrest the idiot officers and make them resist so you can empty your guns.

Thank you, Papa Smurf

JBo
JBo

Shoplifting at the dollar store...that's gotta look good for your reputation.

Dr Shoe
Dr Shoe

The Chief needs to grow a set and stand up for her people!

BruthaV
BruthaV

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams is an African-American. Therefore, it is no surprise that she is backing the black thieves over her own officers. She is an imbecile who is, clearly, an affirmative action hire. She should be terminated immediately.

CloserFocus
CloserFocus

Teach your kids to shoplift. Nice. Store mgr then refuses to press charges??? WHY CALL THE COPS THEN???! What a bunch of BS! These thieves have done this there before. And they’ll keep doing it. Lord don’t let them win their case. Ghetto trash liars!

Cduncanf
Cduncanf

“We only be shoplifting cuz ain’t enough left on the EBT card...”

Disillusioned61
Disillusioned61

If the city pays a lawsuit on this, every cop in the nation should go on strike.

ManBearPig
ManBearPig

The truth come out about these roided up police running around acting a fool none of their actions were recorded on the police report accurately

ManBearPig
ManBearPig

Anyone that thinks that this is acceptable behavior is what is wrong with police. The ability to act with impunity and think you can get away with it. Just because they stole something doesn't justify them treating them like that.

JohnQPublic$
JohnQPublic$

Do not steal, endanger the welfare of children and resist arrest and this will NEVER happen to you. Period! Self responsibility !

Badge204
Badge204

A extremely bias POLICE CHIEF. She should be fired for making personnel statements. Based on video from outside sources.
As a POLICE CHIEF. Your primary job is to be an administrator of your DEPARTMENT. You have a command staff and others who investigate misconduct. They report back to you with FACTS. A board is called and a decision is made by a group. All you did in your immediate statement to the press and public just inflamed the problem. Also publicly slandering your City and its POLICE DEPT. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO PLAY JUDGE AND JURY. You should be removed from your office. The officers after being cleared of wrong doing should stand together in civil court against you with a multi dollar suit. Or in city council demanding some sort of action against your VERY UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AS A POLICE CHIEF OF THEIR DEPARTMENT. Shame on you As for a business reporting shop lifting and failing to prosecute. Why respond? Only a citations are written. Not a offense to be jailed. Unless convicted twice in our state. A Third time a felony. Even then jails are so full they are released. Just my thought after a 32 year police officer retired

Do-The-Job-Right
Do-The-Job-Right

USA is just an Evil that brags about BS. It starts at Government Levels.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

This is such bullshit!! Shoplifters, warrants, history of fighting cops and suspended license and caught driving while fleeing, failure to comply and they want $10 million?? Then Chief throws her guys under the bus!! WTF??

Mig Alley
Mig Alley

Most stores today just look the other way. I guess it's cheaper to let the thug/thugetts walk away the merchandise than trying to recover it. The downside is the thugs/thugetts just return for more. Store raises prices to recover the losses. Problem solved, more or less🤔

Do-The-Job-Right
Do-The-Job-Right

Pussycat Cops

"I'm gonna put a fing cap right in your fing head!" yelled one officer. "You're going to fing get shot.. Get your fing hands up."

"My hands are holding my babies!" Harper replied.

Do-The-Job-Right
Do-The-Job-Right

** I have a job for these Pussycat Police. They can clean my tolets with their mouths. **

Phoenix Police Department Chief Jeri Williams said in a video released Friday afternoon that she began an internal investigation as soon as she was made aware of the video. The investigation is ongoing.

"I, like you, am disturbed by the language and the actions of our officer. I assure you that this incident is not representative of the majority of Phoenix police officers who serve this city," Williams said.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego called the incident a "terrifying situation" that was "beyond upsetting."

qazwiz
qazwiz

I'm sure that all stores are glad that Ames cannot drive to his next shoplifting job, too bad he is only limping, walking still allows him to shoplift from dozens of stores

Ticked off 1
Ticked off 1

Fleeing from police will get you treated like this he knew he wasn’t supposed to drive. But still did refused to obey commands and keep his hands in plain sight warrants and he’s the victim ..... no wonder most police departments are short staffed Nobody want to risk their life to be thrown under the bus

Sivaas_
Sivaas_

Typical... and will always be typical if they aren't held accountable more stringently.

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

Officer was correct in all actions with exception of all that cussing..am i reading this right? This scum let her kid steal doll..i knew as soon as i heard about this that there would b a lawsuit..always..its all about the benjamins baby..sickening this trash will win..but hey at least they will lose their food stamps n medicaid n section 8 house

vwiles34
vwiles34

Why did the people at Dollar General even say anything to the officer if they don't prosecute shoplifters?

IsupportLEOs
IsupportLEOs

So why did the store notify the police of presence shoplifters if they had no plan to pursue charges? If the company has a no-prosecute policy, then shouldn't they notify their employees not to call police and waste their time?

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

There is more to this than what is being said or shown. When you have non compliant individuals you then have to take them and make them compliant for your safety, the public's safety and their own safety. To the untrained eye it might seem excessive, but it's not and sometimes it has to be done. Dollar General need to update their policy or change it because what's the point of calling for aid when you really don't need it. Sometimes just catching them in the act is good enough to get the message across. In my district, most shoplifting cases don't require police intervention. The loss prevention team will detain, because they are allowed to do so, an individual. They will gather all their personal information, evidence and take a picture of the individual. They will then release them. That is if they are compliant, if not then we go down. The information they garner is then turned over to the office and summonses are issued.

Do-The-Job-Right
Do-The-Job-Right

"I'm gonna put a fucking cap in your fucking head"

Now that should be the new way of speaking to all police officers as well.

Rinezmai
Rinezmai

Terrible and excess. Children sometimes take things the child was 4. Pay these people.