Shoppers Help Nab Shoplifting Suspects


Upper Arlington police say shoppers at a TJ Maxx store alerted authorities when they saw two people stuffing dozens of high-end purses into shopping bags.

"I would consider it more on the professional level with the amounts being taken,” said Officer Heather Gailli of the Upper Arlington Division of Police.

Galli say the purses from Michael Kors and other name brands totaled more than $2,500.

Police say the shoplifters came prepared.

"They were utilizing bags and other items to mask the security sensors on the clothing and on the merchandise that they were concealing and trying to take,” added Galli.

Police reports show the bags were lined with duct tape, which allowed the suspects to walk out without setting off alarms.

But thanks to the alert shoppers, police were waiting for the two alleged shoplifters as they left the store with the stolen merchandise.

Shortly after the arrest, Upper Arlington police say they found a set of car keys concealed by the female suspect.  

They traced it back to a parking lot, where police say they found a rental car with bags of stolen merchandise.

Police say items included shoes, perfume and clothing from other stores including Gap Kids and Express Men. Some still had tags, and others were still on hangers.

It's not yet clear if this is part of organized retail crime, but police say you can help prevent it.

"To be aware - if they notice customers that are going to corners or bringing in large bags that aren't part of that retail establishment, they should just be a little more aware,” added Galli.

Loss prevention officers say the method used to steal the merchandise is quite common.  

Upper Arlington Police are still working to see if the two suspects are part of a bigger crime ring since they both listed Akron as their home address.

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