Police: Video shows women shoplifting more than $10K in goods from West U boutiques


by KHOU.com staff & Larry Seward / KHOU 11 News


Posted on August 10, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 10 at 6:40 PM

HOUSTON — Authorities are trying to track down two women behind a couple of high-dollar heists. Police say the pair shoplifted about $10,000 worth of merchandise from upscale boutiques in West University and Houston.

West University police said the women entered the French Cuff Boutique in the 4000 block of Bellaire on July 28 and left with some expensive loot.

"Normally, when you’re talking about a shoplifting case, it’s a couple hundred dollars maybe. This is ranging in the thousands, many of thousands of dollars," said West University Police Officer Phil Clark.

Clark said each woman came in carrying a large bag. The video shows them loading up the bags with expensive clothing and jewelry.

"In the beginning, when they walk in, you can see the bags appear to be empty. They’re kind of flat against their body," Clark said. "But as they leave, they appear to be full."

The crime was caught on a surveillance camera and Clark described the pictures as "phenomenal."

The women then hit the French Cuff in Houston and helped themselves to more pricey merchandise.

Boutique owner Kairy-Tate Barkley couldn’t believe her eyes when she watched the video.

"I was sick. I was really sick to my stomach," she said. "You just feel personally attacked, personally betrayed and then, very quickly, I got mad."

Barkley left a corporate job to open her high-end stores. It was a dream come true. But the brazen shoplifters have stolen her sense of security.

"If we could catch these two women, it would definitely make us feel secure that they weren’t returning and that they were not going to victimize another store," Barkley said.

Police want these shoplifters off the street, explaining organized retail theft of this nature is a $30 billion industry nationwide. Lost revenue not only affects local businesses, but deprives the municipal economy of crucial tax dollars. It also means higher prices for honest customers.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of these suspects. Tipsters can call 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submit tips online. 


Watch the CrimeStoppers Youtube video of the theft