Two charged in shoplifting spree
Two women have been arrested and charged in a crime spree that included four Southwest Florida malls and reportedly stretched across the entire state.
The two arrested were Susan Weis, 29, of 8251 S.W. 3rd Place, North Lauderdale, and Julie Overton, 39, of 26 Pleasant Hill Lane, Tamarac. Both were charged with larceny theft, criminal conspiracy and dealing and trafficking in stolen property.
On Dec. 1, Lee County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Gulf Coast Town Center in reference to a reported theft. The store manager of Bath and Body Works reported two women in the store acting strangely. Since the manager was alone in the store and unable to keep an eye on both women, she summoned the manager from an adjoining store for help. That manager was able to observe the suspects through the window, and reportedly witnessed the suspects concealing merchandise. The suspects then ran off.
Witnesses saw them get into a white minivan and were able to write down the tag number.
Later in the day, a deputy doing routine patrol at Miromar Outlets spotted the vehicle. A perimeter was set up and two subjects matching the descriptions of the suspects were detained walking in the mall near the Nike Factory Outlets. Several bags full of stolen merchandise were found inside the minivan.
Further investigation reveals the two women are suspects in retail thefts at Gulf Coast Town Center, Miromar Outlets, Bell Tower Shops and Edison Mall. Lee County Sheriff’s detectives believe the two suspects may be responsible for more than $80,000 in thefts from stores across the state.
Detectives say more arrests are possible.