Police search for suspect who stole golf cart to plow JCPenny doors open, taking off with merchandise


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – A suspect stole a security golf cart and used it to plow through the front doors of JCPenny at the Visalia Mall.

The thief then ran through the store and snatched as much merchandise as they could.

Officers have no idea how this person got their hands on the golf cart, but once the thief did it served as a crucial to breaking into the store.

A cracked open JCPenny department store door refusing to shut shows the damage from an early morning burglary on Friday.

Visalia Police Sgt. Celestina Sanchez says an unidentified person, first stole a Visalia Mall security golf cart.

The suspect then drove it over and crashed it into the front glass doors until they propped open and ran inside.

“An undetermined amount of property was taken and the suspect fled the scene.”

Police do not know who the burglar is but hope surveillance videos will give them clues.

Former mall employee Destiny Serrano says thefts happened daily when she worked there.

“There would be people coming into steal and you would call security and they would be like well we can’t really do anything except tell them that they are stealing so it doesn’t surprise me,” said Serrano.

Visalia Mall General Manager Richard Feder would not go on camera but did send a statement saying, “The safety and well-being of our visitors and employees are always our top priorities, not just when an incident occurs…We constantly review and evaluate our security procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone who walks through our doors.”

I reached out to JCPenney for surveillance video and for an interview and they have not responded.

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