Police: Shoplifters take thousands in merchandise, hide it in store bushes

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Clarksville police say two crooks tried to take off with dozens of stolen items from an area department store, and they were stashing all their loot just feet away from store employees.

"You start looking at this guy's history, that's not as unusual as you think," said Officer Jim Knoll of the Clarksville Police Dept. "He's equal opportunity. He hits department stores, he hits convenient stores, he hits grocery stores. I mean, he is a shoplifter."

According to police, Michael Mulgrew came to the Wilma Rudolph Boulevard Kohl's Monday and made multiple trips in and out of the store, stashing dozens of shoplifted items in the bushes outside. Police said Mulgrew was working with Rachel Preston, who was stuffing items in her purse and rushing them across the parking lot. Almost $2,000 in merchandise was shoplifted, with the list of stolen items taking three pages of police reports.

The snatching and stashing didn't go unnoticed by store employees. Police were alerted, the two were arrested on site and the items were recovered.

Both Mulgrew and Preston have been taken into custody and charged with felony theft.

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