ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – Security images show nine young women wanted for stealing lingerie and other apparel at a west St. Louis County Victoria’s Secret store.
In a matter of minutes, the group made off with more than $5,000 worth of merchandise, primarily from the retailer’s popular PINK line, Des Peres Department of Public Safety Detective Marshall Broughton said.
Broughton said an employee from a nearby store at West County Center spotted the women running out of the store. Witnesses reported them entering a van with Ohio license plates.
“We see these organized theft rings. They’re usually working for someone else,” he said.
In recent months, department stores at the St. Louis Galleria and Plaza Frontenac were hit by shoplifting rings from other cities.
“Usually when you catch these people, you’ll find a GPS in their car. You get a search warrant for it and download the data, you’ll see that type of store, every Victoria Secret from here and wherever they came from,” he said. “I don’t know about more, but it seems to be a trend. It’s all area malls and retailers.”
The department store hopes someone will recognize the young women seen in the surveillance images.
While “grab and go” incidents are not unusual in the metro area, the number of suspects in this ring stands out, Broughton said.
”I don’t think we’ve ever had nine individuals come in at once. Usually what we’ve seen are groups of two to four, maybe six; but I don’t think we’ve ever had nine.”