St Charles County MO April 22 2017
A man who worked as a loss-prevention officer for several area shopping centers and malls used his position to kidnap and, at least once, rape customers, prosecutors said.
The St. Charles County prosecuting attorney’s office on Thursday issued two charges of kidnapping and one charge of rape against Shaun A. Ivy, 36, of the 600 block of Nancy Drive in St. Charles.
Ivy worked as a loss prevention officer for H&M, an apparel store with locations at Chesterfield Mall, Taubman Prestige Outlet, the Galleria and West County Mall.
He was arrested after a joint investigation by the St. Charles, Chesterfield and Des Peres police departments.
Des Peres Police Capt. Sean Quinn said a young woman came into the police substation at the West County Mall on Saturday to say she was worried about her friend. They had been at Chesterfield Mall earlier, when they were detained for suspicion of shoplifting.
The loss prevention officer let her go but kept her friend in custody.
The two young women had previously planned to reconnect at the West County Mall, and the woman was concerned because her friend didn't show.
Des Peres contacted the Chesterfield police, who started investigating Ivy.
According to a probable cause statement filed in St. Charles County, Ivy detained a woman at the Chesterfield Mall on April 15 and coerced her into getting into his vehicle using a threat of incarceration if she didn't comply. He then drove her to his home in St. Charles. On the way there, the statement alleges, Ivy told the woman that he'd done her a favor and "now she needs to do him one."
During the encounter, police said that the victim texted a friend, who contacted police. Police found evidence belonging to the victim in Ivy's home and vehicle. He is accused of the crime of kidnapping in that incident.
According to a second cause statement, also filed in St. Charles County, Ivy was working at the Chesterfield Mall store on March 2 when he detained a young woman and coerced her into getting into his vehicle with the threat of incarceration and police action if she did not comply.
He then took her to his home, ordered her to get undressed, and raped her.
Authorities learned about her later, when they were investigating lvy's possible role in the April 15 kidnapping.
Quinn said there were no known cases of people being kidnapped from the West County Mall, but police were hoping any victims would come forward.
Chesterfield Police spokesman Capt. Steve Lewis declined to comment about his city's role in the investigation.
St. Charles Police Lt. Todd Wilson said Ivy would watch shoppers on surveillance cameras from a rear office, and confront women he suspected of shoplifting.
Normally, a loss-prevention officer would bring the suspect back to the office and either call police or issue a warning. But on at least two occasions, Ivy coerced victims into his car by telling them they were going to be in big trouble if they didn't obey his order.
Police said they were asking any other potential victims to contact their local police departments.
Ivy was being held on Friday at St. Charles County Jail on $300,000 cash bond, and has been ordered not to have contact with the victims. He did not have a lawyer on Friday, and declined to talk to a reporter.
Loss prevention officers are vital to store security, said Bob Moraca, vice president for loss prevention with the National Retail Federation. They are specially trained to help prevent losses from theft. The 2016 National Retail Security Survey said theft accounts for $44 billion to $50 billion in losses each year
Moraca said loss prevention officers, who are often trained to handle other crimes including active shooter scenarios, are different than security officers, who typically don't have as much training and serve as visual deterrents.
H&M, in an emailed statement, said: "The individual in question did not comply with H&M’s policies and procedures as they relate to the security protocol within our stores and as such is no longer employed by H&M. We will continue to provide the police with any information we can in order to aide with their ongoing investigation."
St Louis Dispatch