Belk guard charged with trying to extort sex from second shoplifting suspect

rgallagher@newsobserver.comMarch 6, 2014 

— A Belk loss-prevention officer has been charged again with felony extortion after Raleigh police say he demanded sex from an 18-year-old woman in return for not testifying against her in a shoplifting case.

Modou Thomas, 37, was arrested late Wednesday at his home at 4916 Collard Patch Lane, off N.C. 50 south of Garner. Detectives had also arrested him at his home last Friday.

The new charges involve a woman, Samara Chance, who was arrested Dec. 20 at the Belk store at Triangle Town Center and charged with misdemeanor larceny, according to her arrest report.

According to an arrest warrant, Thomas contacted Chance two days later intending “to wrongfully obtain sexual intercourse by texting the victim repeatedly telling her that she would only be able to avoid prosecution in a pending shoplifting case by having sex with him.”

Last week’s arrest warrant laid out a similar case involving a 23-year-old woman.

In that case, police said text messages went out between Feb. 15 and Feb. 26. In a search warrant made public earlier this week, Raleigh police said one of the women had asked who was texting her and contacted authorities.

Police officers went along when she agreed to meet Thomas, the warrant said, and they seized his cell phone for their investigation.

The most recent charge came about after Chance heard about the first case and decided to report her experience, said Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue. He said police have not concluded their investigation.

Thomas was being held Thursday in lieu of $50,000 bail ordered by Superior Court Judge Bryon Collins, according to arrest paperwork. He had been free on bail after his first arrest.

Acting on behalf of federal immigration officials, Wake sheriff’s deputies checked on Thomas, a native of Gambia, last week and did not ask for an Immigration and Custom Enforcement 48-hour hold on him, but this week they did.

Belk spokeswoman Jessica Graham said Thomas had been suspended from his job, and store officials were cooperating with police.

Gallagher: 919-829-4572

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