Woman stole more than $ 300,000 in items including Gucci and Prada to sell online, police say

A California woman is accused of stealing more than $ 300,000 in merchandise from stores, as the state sees an increase in retail thefts in recent months.

Ekatarina Zharkova, 38, was arrested in Contra Mesa, Calif., And held in a local jail on suspicion of theft, San Diego news station KSWB reported.

Detailing Zharkova’s arrest, the California Highway Patrol said officers searched a house that was “filled from wall to wall in every room” with bags of clothing from companies such as Prada, Gucci and Jimmy Choo, according to KSWB .

As California has seen an increase in organized retail thefts and crush and seizure looting in recent weeks, police said Zharkova stole the items herself. Highway Patrol said they were seen stealing from a store in Nordstrom.

“Investigators saw her walk into a Nordstrom Rack store, where she was observed filling a shopping cart with high-end items,” Highway Patrol said, according to KSWB.

“She placed a coat over the cart to cover the merchandise, then used an anti-sensor device to remove the security sensors before leaving the store with over $ 3,500 in stolen merchandise. Zharkova returned to her car, where she was immediately arrested, ”highway patrol officials added.

A Californian woman has been accused of stealing more than $ 300,000 in merchandise from stores such as Nordstrom. Above, a Nordstrom department store in downtown Walnut Creek, Calif., In 2017.
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After raiding Zharkova’s home, highway patrol officers discovered 2,333 stolen items totaling around $ 330,000, authorities said. Zharkova was selling the items online.

News week contacted Highway Patrol for more details on the case but did not receive a response until publication.

In November, 80 people entered a Nordstrom store and stole goods, police in Walnut Creek, Calif., Said. Video of the incident showing people fleeing the Bay Area store has gone viral.

Last week, a Nordstrom store in a Los Angeles County mall was broken into, with thieves using bear spray on a security guard to get inside the building, according to law enforcement officials. laws.

Law enforcement officials said they believed organized crime networks were recruiting young people to carry out some of the recent retail robberies.

“We’re not talking about someone who needs money or food. These are people who go out and do this for high profit and for fun,” said Ben Dugan, chair of the Coalition of Law Enforcement. and Retail, a national organization. .

In July, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill expanding the ability of the Highway Patrol to operate task forces to tackle growing crime.

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