TUCSON - A retail theft couple was recently busted after the group spent several months targeting stores in Tucson.
According to local law enforcement, the couple would steal designer purses and shoes to feed a drug habit.
“In this case it's heroin,” said Detective Olga Ramirez. “To support their habit, that is what the result is.”
Amelia Gordon was arrested at a traffic stop about two weeks ago. She was caught on a surveillance video stealing items from a Walmart store. Her boyfriend, Richard Jesse Garcia, ran from police during the traffic stop.
Garcia was also caught on camera leaving the Walmart in a white car. Later, Tucson Police Department found numerous items in that car.
“It's an abundance of clothes, shoes, purses, jewelry, colognes; whatever items they could steal from different businesses,” said Ramirez.
According to the detective, most of the items came from Macy's, Dillard's and Walmart.
“I have a dollar amount of money that they received, which was $3,000 within an eight week course,” said Ramirez.
Unfortunately, the paying customers end up paying for the shop lift price, due to a price rise of the stolen merchandise.
“I think it's unfair that we, in turn, pay extra for our goods when people who are lazy, essentially, who think they could come out here and rob us,” said shopper Stephanie Ruiz.
Shopper Katie Berger is also outraged, especially when she heard about the drug habit.
“We shouldn't be paying for someone's unfortunate habit,” she said.
According to Ramirez, she received a tip about the couple from one of the merchants of the retail theft monthly meeting.
Gordon and Garcia were both indicted this week, with a dozen charges that include trafficking in stolen property, organize retail theft, fraud and robbery.
TPD is still searching for Garcia.
Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call 911 or anonymously at 88-CRIME.