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Crime Trackers: Serial shoplifter turns himself in - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: Serial shoplifter turns himself in

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On Tuesday, Jesus Cota turned himself in at the Pima County Jail. Pima County Sheriff's deputies credit the public and the "Community Special Problems" Unit with Cota's arrest. On Tuesday, Jesus Cota turned himself in at the Pima County Jail. Pima County Sheriff's deputies credit the public and the "Community Special Problems" Unit with Cota's arrest.

TUCSON - A serial shoplifter who has been targeting Circle K's is behind bars.

His picture went out on Monday to news outlets, and social media. On Tuesday, Jesus Cota turned himself in at the Pima County Jail. Pima County Sheriff's deputies credit the public and the "Community Special Problems" Unit with Cota's arrest.

Detective Lisa Johnson said Cota and his family saw his picture on the local news stations, as well as on social media. His family urged him to turn himself in.

Detective Johnson works in the Community Problems Unit. She was able to connect Cota to 30 shoplifting incidents and one theft.

She said he targeted the Circle K's at Ajo and Country Club and Campbell and 36th street.

“He would just come in and take the beer and leave," said Johnson. "It became to the point where it was so repetitive .”

She added, he often went to these stores several times a day, reportedly stealing more than $2,000 worth of beer.

When the detective questioned Cota, his response: “He was wanting to take responsibility for his actions that he had committed the thefts.”

However, they are still looking for another individual . Detectives said he is a Hispanic man, approximately 5-feet-7-inches tall, medium build with short, dark hair and mustache or goatee. He is in his late twenties or early thirties and has both arms sleeved in tattoos. 

If you have information call 88-CRIME or 911.

Detective Johnson agrees, in most cases involving shoplifting or property crimes, the items are sold or exchanged for drugs.

However in this case, she said it's still under investigation.

News 4 Tucson reached out to Circle K to ask them about this case. Carlos Estrada the loss prevention manager wrote in an email the following statement:

We are very proud of the law enforcement work the Pima County Sheriff's Department did on this case. The sheriff's department, working in partnership with our 24-hour Circle K Security Center, is able to identify repeat offenders in our stores. The sheriff's department, like Circle K, utilizes social media to help identify offenders and combat crime in our community. The sheriff's department continues to use cutting edge technology to help solve crime and make our communities safer. We commend them and continue to support them in all their endeavors. With technology today and in the future we will continue to get better pictures, sound, more information, etc. so criminals will not go unnoticed and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent whenever possible. Our goal aligns with law enforcement goals, to ensure our communities are safe for all.

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