Exclusive: Mother accused of stealing from neighbor

A mother whom a community once rallied around is now accused of stealing from her neighbors.

HOUSTON - A woman once helped by the community is now charged with stealing from a neighbor.

Houston Police have charged Christina Loucks Johnson, 41, with felony theft. One of her Facebook friends tells KHOU 11 News she never thought she would become a victim.

It's the perfect way for busy moms to shop.

"It's people we all know and people that are around us,” said Isabel Asander, a mom who buys and sells on the Facebook group “Memorial Area Trading.”

“It felt safe,” she said.

So when Asander got a message about someone wanting to buy something she posted, she didn't think twice.

Asander says the woman was Johnson, pictured in an image from her public Facebook profile that has since been deleted.

"She wanted to try on some stuff, and there was a lady in the powder room, so I said, 'Go into my bedroom.' I didn't think twice about it. Again, I had known her for so long,” Asander said.

That was Friday, Jan. 6. By Sunday, she noticed jewelry was missing.

"The pouch was gone, my ring was gone, some of my perfume was gone, some of the stuff inside my closet was gone,” Asander said.

She called police and said Johnson came back with an apology.

"She came, and she just returned this box of stuff, and in the box was the letter,” Asander said.

It's a letter also mentioned in court documents. In it, Johnson says her life had spiraled out of control, and she asked for forgiveness. She returned some of the stolen items, but this mom says there's still $43,000 of jewelry missing.

It's not the first time Johnson's been in the headlines. In 2015, she set up a GoFundMe page after her son recovered from a serious baseball injury. The community rallied around the family, raising $10,000.

"I mean, you never know, it's scary you never know now,” Asander said.

This mom won't be as trusting next time.

"Don't let anybody in your bedroom. Do porch pick up, meet people, but don't let anyone in your bedroom,” she said.

Investigators did get a confession from Johnson. According to court documents, she told them, "I made a mistake. I have to pay rent and bills. I melted and sold the jewelry, but gave back all I had."

Police are in the process of issuing a warrant for Johnson’s arrest. We reached out to her for comment, but have not heard back. Detectives also mentioned in their report, there could be more victims.

If you buy and sell stuff through these online trading groups, Houston Police offer these tips:

• Don't invite people into your home, instead meet in a public place
• Meet during the day in a populated area, not at night
• Don't go alone, it's always safer to have someone with you

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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