Shop releases video of alleged shoplifters, seeks public’s help identifying 5 women

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SALT LAKE CITY -- It's not the group you expect to rip you off.

"It looked like a grandmother, a mother, daughters and niece--so it wasn't someone you would point out to be suspicious," say Morgan Mickles, who is the sales associate who was helping the group of five women.

The alleged theft occurred at Bauer’s Fashion Eyewear, located at 51 South Main Street in City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, around 6 p.m. Thursday.

Mickles said the women were polite, saying "please" and "thank you". When they asked to see a pair of sunglasses behind a locked glass door, she thought nothing of opening the door and walking away to help other customers.

Surveillance video captures the group crowding around the sunglasses case. One woman, wearing a red tank top, seems to step back and keep an eye out for the store employee.

"I believe the older woman probably was the overseer of the operation: She kind of watched and kept tabs," Mickles said.

Satisfied that they are in the clear, the group of women walk out of the store with six pairs of sunglasses ranging from $150 to $200 each. The total haul was $1,030 worth of products.

"You want to trust people, naturally, you do," Mickles said. "You want to believe that people are just doing the right thing, they're not bad people and they're not here to steal from you."

She also said it's a lesson learned the hard way. The next time she, or any other employee, walks away from a sunglasses case it will be locked.

Salt Lake City police are investigating the case, and anyone with information about the women or the alleged theft is asked to contact authorities.

Store employees said regardless of whether or not it helps the case, they wanted to get the surveillance video in the public eye. They don't believe this is the first time the group of women have pulled off such a crime, and it may not be the last. They said they hope the video will serve as a warning to others to keep an eye out.

7 comments

  • The Kid

    I’d start by seeing if the Travelers or the Gypsies are in town. Organized shoplifting is considered a skilled trade, especially among Travelers. Look for people offering to paint buildings for “only the cost of the paint”, driveway sealing scams, roofing scams, etc.

  • The Kid

    Look at the couple in the foreground at the kiosk display; at one point she appears to slide a pair of sunglasses into her right pocket.

  • capsaicinone

    Busted. You know what that means? Lawyers who get them off with a pat on the wrist…unless it’s repeat offense. The sad fact is theft results in fines and rarely any time in jail. If there is jail time, it happens months after the fact. This is hardly a way to deter future theft. Which is why offenders become repeat offenders.

  • laytonian

    If you believe old people do not shoplift, wake up. Old women are inherently “above suspicion”. One of them ripped off several antique dealers at the Salt Palace, a few years ago. We all learned.
    My mother in law was a retail cashier in Ogden, and said that when the alarms went off, it usually involved an elderly woman. They put things in the pockets or strollers of little kids and pretend the kids took it.
    The old ones teach the young ones in a gang like this.

  • Hunter

    I worked at a restaurant in 07′, 08′ and this one morning a group of cheerleaders from North Layton jr high came in with one of the moms. I handed her the bill and while I was assisting other customers, her and the young girls ran out the door and drove a way in the moms white mini van. The bill was still sitting at the center of the table. Several patrons witness them huddled together over the bill looking around before they left. I obviously blame this woman, she set the poor example to these young teens, she showed them it was easy to deceive people. It’s sad you really can’t trust people

  • John terry

    Gypsies. Scum of the earth! Good luck identifying them, much less catching them. They will steal anything not nailed down…. If it’s nailed down, then they tie their stolen cars to the item and try to move it. 🙂

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