HOUSTON Precinct 4 has a warning to shoplifters; deputies will be watching. Five women learned that the hard and necessary way after being arrested.

A spike in crime isn t unusual this time of year, but what is unusual is that more women are getting involved in organized crime. As we head into what is normally a Season of Giving for most of us, there are some who simply want to take; like the five women recently arrested at Houston Premium Outlets.

It is our belief they went into about 10 to 12 different stores stealing retail merchandise, said Pct. 4 Assistant Chief Mark Herman.

The five suspects were initially charged with organized retail theft, but the charge against one of them will be upgraded because of a previous conviction.

They were taking women s bags, purses, expensive purses, clothing and an assortment of jewelry and things of that nature, Herman said. These individuals are very organized. They knew what they were doing. They knew exactly what they wanted to get. Deputies said the women had the intent of reselling the items and were likely part of a crime ring.

The arrests come as the Precinct 4 Constable s Office is launching its annual Holiday Patrol Initiative and putting more officers on the beat.

We re increasing patrols and visibility by 50 percent in some area. We ll be hitting retail shopping areas two-fold. One, to educate folks about what they can do to keep themselves safe through the holidays, then we have our other folks out watching for criminals, Herman explained.

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