Arrested man has criminal history of stolen unicorn, ‘abundance of knives’ and ‘nonstop’ rides to jail

Stock image | Photo by Patti Labelle/iStock/Getty Images, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A local man is back in jail after officers were called out to investigate an alarm going off at a local business and found two suspects allegedly taking more than $500 in merchandise after removing the security devices from the items.

Jarrett M. Crooks, 36, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, May 12, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Shortly after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a business on the 600 block of St. George Boulevard on a suspicious person report after a 911 caller reported hearing alarms going off and then observed two suspects taking security tags off items on display for sale. 

According to the probable cause statement filed with the court, the security devices were described by the reporting party as being those that are attached to a long black cable used to secure the items.  

Two officers arrived to find a man, identified by the officers as 36-year-old Jarrett Crooks from previous interactions with law enforcement, accompanied by a woman and allegedly taking items after removing the security devices. 

As officers collected evidence and processed the scene, a background check revealed an active warrant for Crooks’ arrest, and he was taken into custody by police.  

After speaking with Crooks, officers determined that approximately $500 in merchandise was stolen and in his possession at the time he was detained, the report states.  

During a search of the suspect’s belongings, police say, they found a bag containing marijuana, a silver case containing what appeared to be marijuana and syringes containing residue consistent with methamphetamine, all of which came back positive during a field test. 

The suspect was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center to be medically cleared before he was booked into jail on the warrant and multiple misdemeanor offenses, including possession of a retail detection device and drug and paraphernalia possession. 

The arrest on Tuesday is the latest in a string of run-ins the suspect has had with the law. 

Walmart Washington City 

In June 2019, officers responded to Walmart in Washington City on the report of a retail theft, where they learned that Crooks and a female were seen on surveillance footage taking items from the store. Once Crooks had exited the store, he waited out front while the woman passed by all points of sale before exiting and joining the suspect in the parking lot.

When confronted by the asset protection employees, the woman returned to the store while Crooks continued walking away. 

Officers said the woman told them she went to Walmart to buy items for her mother, but the man she was with, Crooks, placed several items in her cart and “asked her to walk out of the store with them without paying for them.” 

The woman also told police she only knew the suspect by his first name. 

Meanwhile, Crooks was located by officers in the store parking lot, and during a cursory search, officers found a number of knives in each of his pockets, along with a glass container with what appeared to be methamphetamine. 

While speaking with police, the suspect said he was at purchase needles for a friend, and when asked, he admitted to placing several items in the woman’s cart but stated he went to the front of the store and waited for her. The report says he also denied telling her to leave the store without paying for the merchandise. 

The suspect was transported to jail facing second-degree felony drug distribution and misdemeanor theft, paraphernalia charges. 

Walmart St. George 

Three months earlier, the suspect was arrested and charged with three counts of unlawful acquisition of a financial card, along with misdemeanor theft and interfering with an arresting officer charges after police responded to Walmart on Brigham Road in St. George on a retail theft call. 

According to store employees, a man and a woman were caught allegedly stealing items from the store, and while the manager did not yet have specifics on the items taken, he told police that a stuffed unicorn and an orange box were two of the items reportedly removed from the store

The manager also told police that both suspects were seen leaving the store and getting into a silver minivan parked in a handicapped parking stall located “directly in front of the entrance,” which is where officers found it still parked when they arrived. 

Inside were five occupants, including the couple described by the Walmart manager. The man, later identified as Crooks, was “quickly detained” after police found “an abnormal amount of knives on his person,” according to charging documents filed with the courts.

While speaking with officers, Crooks initially denied taking anything from the store; however, the officer wrote, he “quickly changed his answer and confirmed he stole the unicorn,” which was found during a search of the minivan. 

Officer also found two backpacks that appeared to be brand new that were “jammed full” of new merchandise, including automotive parts, various outdoor items and miscellaneous merchandise that police suspected was taken from Walmart. This was confirmed later after the store ran the items through the register and found that the UPC codes matched on the majority of the items. 

Court records indicate that all told, more than $440 in items were taken from Walmart. 

The suspect eventually admitted to taking the items, telling officers he took them at the request of his fiance. The officer wrote that Crooks “specifically stated that he was told he would not get any sex” from his fiance if he did not steal the merchandise

Initially, officers were only gong to cite and release Crooks, but when they found an out-of-state warrant on his fiance, Crooks “lost all self control and began screaming” and then grabbed onto his fiance as he attempted to attack the officers. 

As soon as backup arrived, officers were able to pull the suspect away, the report stated, adding that as they did so, the suspect “had four separate financial transaction cards fall out of his pocket.” The cards were in different individuals’ names, which the suspect said “were possibly stolen.” 

“Jarrett was transported non-stop to Purgatory without incident,” the officer noted in the statement.

The suspect’s prior cases are still moving through the courts, and he remains in custody following Tuesday’s arrest on the $10,000 warrant.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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