Women seen on surveillance video stealing thousands of dollars of merchandise

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Trio suspected of Big Time shoplifting at Houston-area pharmacy

FOX 26 Reporter Matthew Seedorff has more on what the trio did and how much merchandise was taken.

Authorities across the Houston area are looking for thieves responsible for recently stealing from retail stores.

"Always during the holiday season we do see an uptick in organized retail crime in general," said Lt. Danny Keele from the Jersey Village Police Department.

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Surveillance video taken from a Jersey Village CVS last Saturday shows three women calmly walk inside the store located off Jones Road. Within minutes, one of the women grabs several plastic bags from a self-checkout. Then, the three women fill the plastic bags with items and leave the store. Police believe they stole almost $5,000 worth of makeup.

"They don’t look like [they’re committing] criminal activity," said Lt. Keele. "They do try to distract employees and usually work in concert with a couple of people together. They begin selecting items and placing them in bags and walk straight out of the store."

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HPD warning shoppers, residents to be aware of your surroundings

FOX 26 Reporter Gabby Hart spoke with shoppers and police about how they should remain aware of their surroundings during the holiday season.

Different police departments throughout Southeast Texas have reported similar crimes over the last few weeks. On Facebook, Fulshear police shared surveillance images of three women accused of stealing batteries estimated to cost more than $500. In addition, the Cuero Police Department posted surveillance photos of two women walking off with baby formula worth at least $1,000.

"They’ve been linked to some offenses inside Houston," said Lt. Keele. "Also, Channelview area. We’ve been working with those law enforcement agencies as well."

FOX 26 spoke with a representative from the Houston Police Department Friday. According to the spokesperson, they’ve responded to two calls in the last three weeks similar to the case in Jersey Village. The spokesperson says in both Houston instances, three women stolen merchandise worth more than $2,000.

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The National Retail Federation has reported historically high levels of thefts.  According to the federation, organized retail crime is up almost 30% compared to last year.

"Never hesitate to reach out to law enforcement when you observe this type of activity," said Lt. Keele. "Our average response time here in Jersey Village is less than five minutes on most calls for service. So, we have a pretty good chance of catching them in the act."

If you recognize the women seen on the surveillance video, you’re urged to contact local police.