Delaware County authorities identify Tanger Outlets shoplifting suspect after shots fired during pursuit

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DELAWARE, OH (WCMH) — A suspected shoplifter has been arrested on several charges after knocking over a deputy and fleeing the scene of the purported crime.

According to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, it started around 8pm Tuesday with a shoplifting call at the OshKosh B’gosh store at the Tanger Outlet Mall. Deputies on bike patrol found the suspect in her vehicle in the back of the parking lot.

She has been identified as 28-year-old Alana Hissong of Blacklick.

“One of our deputies with our newly implemented bicycle unit was in the Tanger Outlet parking lot area within moments, located the suspect. This deputy made repeated commands for the suspect in order to gain compliance and she continued to ignore him,” said Sheriff Russell Martin.

He said as she was trying to get away in her pick-up truck, a bicycle officer was knocked over in the process. He suffered minor injuries.

“Another deputy on foot also responding to the suspect as she began driving her vehicle toward him and the downed deputy. In an effort to protect himself from possible harm from the truck, did discharge his weapon several times towards the vehicle,” said Sheriff Martin. “He did not strike the suspect.”

Hissong got away and started heading east in her pickup truck, away from the mall.

Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin said other deputies began pursuing Hissong, who crashed her vehicle near the intersection of Berkshire Road and North 3 Bs and K Road. She was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, and was arrested upon her release overnight. Martin said she had a warrant out for cocaine possession. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has also charged her with impaired driving, failure to yield, driving under suspension, and driving without a seatbelt.

Hissong had stolen gray jogging pants, some t-shirts, and a tunic, according to DCSO.

“Tanger Outlet Mall is a great place to shop. We don’t welcome shoplifters up here,” said Sheriff Martin. “We found most of the people we’ve apprehended are not from this county.”

On Wednesday, during a press conference, DCSO said thefts are up 40% in the county, with most of that attributed to shoplifting at Tanger Outlets. That’s part of the reason why they now have a bicycle unit.

“We just implemented this bike unit within the last 6 months. We have three deputies that have been trained just for this type of activity,” said Sheriff Martin.

According to Licking County Municipal Court records NBC4 obtained, Hissong has a theft charge stemming from a July 17 incident. She was arraigned in this case Tuesday afternoon, about 7-8 hours before the scene unfolded in Licking County.

Digging more into her criminal background, Hissong was charged with forgery out of an April 6 incident in Licking County. On July 21, attorneys filed a notice of intent to enter a guilty plea, which was scheduled to happen on Sept. 13.

The deputy who fired his weapon has been identified as Alex Richison, a 6-year veteran with the force. The other deputy who was patrolling the mall on his bike is Josh Clarke. He has been with the DCSO for 9 years.

The Ohio Attorney General’s office will investigate the officer-involved shooting. Richison will be placed on administrative leave, based on standard procedure.

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