$10,000 worth of stolen goods recovered Two women arrested, suspected of leading shoplifting ring

December 07, 1996|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

Police recovered more $10,000 worth of winter sports jackets, videos, computer games and tools yesterday, stolen, they say, from Carroll County stores by a shoplifting ring headed by two Westminster women.

Kimberly Lynne Cook, 26, of the 4000 block of Arters Mill Road and Rhonda Marie Flynn, 25, of the first block of Liberty St. were arrested yesterday at an Eldersburg pawn shop where they were attempting to sell stolen goods, Westminster police said.

The women were charged with felony theft -- a crime carrying a maximum sentence of 15 years in prisonand a $15,000 fine -- and with conspiracy to commit theft.

Other arrests are pending, Westminster police Lt. Dean A. Brewer said.

Westminster police had help from the Maryland State Police, the Carroll County state's attorney's office, and security personnel at six stores in Eldersburg and Westminster, Brewer said.

They broke the case a few days ago during a meeting in which they shared information about people suspected of retail thefts. During the meeting, police realized that items at Slim's Pawn Shop in Eldersburg were being pawned by people suspected of theft at several stores.

Police began surveillance at 7 a.m. yesterday and followed two women to the pawn shop. There, the women attempted to sell stolen merchandise obtained earlier in the day, Brewer said.

Disney films and the recently released "Mission Impossible" and "Independence Day" were among 200 videos stolen, Brewer said.

University of Maryland logos were prevalent among the 43 winter sports jackets recovered. The videos and computer games were in their original packages and many had the price tags on them, police said.

The thieves "choose locations within the stores where the visibility was poor and they could get to their destination very quickly," Brewer said. "They worked very quickly filling book bags. It was getting to be a daily occurrence."

Most of the recovered goods -- $8,171 worth -- belonged to Wal-marts in Westminster and Eldersburg, Brewer said.

Other stores that will be getting back merchandise are Caldor and Sears in the Cranberry Mall and the Toy Works in the Cranberry Square Shopping Center, all in Westminster.

Pub Date: 12/07/96

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