A 49-year-old Inglewood woman was arrested Thursday, Oct. 3 after Santa Monica detectives exposed her scam where she would steal items from T.J. Maxx department stores, return the items with no receipt to gain store credit, then buy items with the store credit that she would later return for a cash refund.
A representative of the T.J.Maxx department store, located at 1251 14th Street, filed a police report at the Santa Monica Police Department on Sept. 30.
The report pertained to the suspect who the representative believed had been visiting numerous T.J.Maxx stores, and returning items without any receipts.
The store representative suspected that these items had originally been stolen from the stores, although she did not have any concrete evidence to support her suspicions.
On the above date, and at the aforementioned store, the representative stated that a suspect had returned merchandise to the value of $273.11 and that this suspect was issued a store credit for the items.
This suspect later used the store credit to select items to the value of $273.11, but then returned these items for a cash refund.
The representative added that the previous day the same suspect had performed the same suspicious sequence of events at another T.J.Maxx with items that had a value of $152.24.
The T.J.Maxx staff had later reviewed CCTV footage from both stores and that tape had shown that the suspect was someone who had previously been arrested at the Culver City branch of the chain store for theft.
The suspect was identified, and a warrant for burglary issued for her arrest.
On Thursday, Oct. 3, at 7:52 am a Loss Prevention Agent at the T.J.Maxx store in Inglewood was watching CCTV and had observed this suspect leave the location in a vehicle.
The agent hopped into her own vehicle, followed the suspect, and called the Santa Monica Police Detectives who were on the case.
These detectives responded and the suspect was arrested.
Several other items related to similar thefts were found inside the suspect’s vehicle.
This woman was arrested and remained in custody.
At the time of going to press bail information was not available.
Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of the Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com.