Reported By Heather Jensen, Reporter - bio | email
Katrina Rauch, 19
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -
Two teens are charged in connection with a string of purse thefts in Clarksville.
Katrina Rauch, 19, and a 17-year-old juvenile are charged with multiple counts of theft.
"Right now, we've charged [them] with a couple of the charges. There's probably more charges pending," said Officer Jim Knoll, spokesperson for Clarksville Police Department.
According to police, the pair stole as many as nine purses between October and December 2012. The purses were usually left unattended in shopping carts.
"It worked the same way," explained Knoll. "Each time they'd look for an unsuspecting person to walk away from that shopping cart, take the purse, [and] go on. And then, they would immediately utilize the credit cards to try to purchase gift cards."
In three months time, the duo reportedly got away with an estimated $5,500 in cash and property. Approximately $2,000 was used on gift cards, but most of the items in the purses were tossed.
"Things they couldn't use, they got rid of. We're talking about things like iPads. They'd just trash 'em," Knoll said.
Knoll also told Nashville's News 2 these types of cases are difficult to solve.
Investigators only got a break in this case when an officer spotted a vehicle believed to be tied to the crimes.
The vehicle lead investigators to Rauch's home on Tobacco Road in Clarksville, where several of the stolen items and cash were found.
Following the arrests, Knoll offered a warning to shoppers.
"People need to keep track of their stuff," he said. "I often say, 'Anything you want to get rid of, leave it unattended in your shopping cart,' because somebody is willing to take it."
Rauch faces several charges of theft and possession of stolen property. She was released from jail on a $2,500 bond.
The unnamed 17-year-old is charged as a juvenile for theft.