Police: High-end theft ring targets EC Scheels

·2 min read

Jan. 20—EAU CLAIRE — A Minnesota man who attempted two high-end thefts at the Eau Claire Scheels store is linked to similar thefts at Scheels stores in Minnesota, police say.

Zachary T. Devries, 33, of Robbinsdale, is charged in Eau Claire County Court with a felony count of retail theft.

A warrant has been issued for Devries' arrest.

According to the criminal complaint:

An Eau Claire police officer was sent to the Eau Claire Scheels store on Dec. 14 for a retail theft where the suspect was identified but fled the store.

Store security told the officer a man in a mustard-colored jacket entered the store and started to browse men's coats.

Security saw the man select a men's Canada Goose jacked valued at $950. Those jackets were secured with metal "tethers" onto the hangers and racks to deter theft.

The man cut the wires with a wire cutter. A nearby employee heard the "snap" of the wire and confronted the man, who ran out the front door with the coat.

The man ran toward the Oakwood Mall entrance parking lot and fled in an unknown vehicle.

Security told the officer the man did the same thing the previous day with the same brand of jacket. The total value of the two jackets was $1,900.

Security said the man is known to them because he committed similar thefts, in the same way, at two other Scheels stores in Rochester, Minn., and Mankato, Minn.

Security said the man was identified following his arrest in Mankato after turning himself into a hospital on a mental health commitment.

Devries has a warrant in Minnesota that lists mental health issues and violent tendencies.

The Eau Claire police officer was unable to contact Devries.

Devries is being prosecuted as a repeat offender. He was convicted of a felony count of theft in October in Hennepin County in Minnesota.

If convicted of the Eau Claire charge, Devries could be sentenced to up to 18 months in prison.