FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — Thanks to an alert retail loss prevention agent, two women believed to be responsible for more than $94,000 in thefts from at least 47 stores were taken into custody while leaving a Kohl’s in Franklin earlier this week.
According to the Franklin Police Department (FPD), security at Kohl’s quickly spotted the women when they entered the store shortly before 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16.
Officials said the Kohl’s loss prevention agent immediately recognized the pair from an online retail theft information-sharing system, so the agent called an on-duty officer from FPD’s Flex Team.
In the words of the FPD, the Flex Team is “a covert unit of officers and detectives who focus on crimes like burglaries, organized retail theft, drug-related and violent street crime, and other community concerns.”
Store security reportedly told responding officers the two women were hiding massive amounts of merchandise under their skirts.
As the women walked out of the store, plain-clothes officers in covert police vehicles pulled into the parking lot and arrested them, authorities said.
Not only did both women have zippered bags tied around their waists and covered by their skirts, but police said each woman was carrying about 30 pounds of stolen makeup and other merchandise, with a combined value of nearly $15,000.
In addition, after searching the “getaway van” the women were heading toward as they exited the store, officials said they discovered approximately $19,500 worth of stolen merchandise from other Kohl’s stores.
On Saturday, May 20, the FPD released security footage that appears to show one of the women picking up an item from a cosmetics aisle and tucking the item in her skirt.
Even though the investigation is still ongoing, authorities said they have linked the women to similar thefts in several other jurisdictions between Tennessee and Texas.
The FPD identified the alleged shoplifters as Isabela Tomescu and Daniela Listor, both of whom were charged with organized retail crime and felony theft.
According to police, Tomescu — a 26-year-old from Oklahoma City — is being held in the Williamson County Jail before she appears in court on Tuesday, May 23.
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Meanwhile, Listor — whose age and hometown have not been released — was reportedly picked up from the Williamson County Jail by U.S. Immigration authorities. However, officials did not share a reason for transferring custody.
“The Franklin Police Department credits the Kohl’s loss prevention agent with these arrests and the substantial recovery,” the FPD said in a statement Saturday. “The Department says that close relationships between its officers and key community members are an essential ingredient to the huge success that this case is.”