King Street businesses hit with shoplifters, police investigating

VIDEO: King Street businesses hit with shoplifters, police investigating
Updated: Apr. 4, 2017 at 5:32 PM EDT
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Channels off King Street (Source: Live 5)
Channels off King Street (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston Police continue to search for multiple people who have shoplifted several King Street businesses over the last few months.

At least once a month, stores on the highly trafficked shopping street are hit.

Most recently the owner of Las Olas Charleston had more than $200 worth of merchandise stolen.

A police report says an unknown woman walked into the store's dressing room around 1:30 p.m. Sunday with several pieces of clothing, including a pair of Sawyer shorts valued at $106 and a Wilson Tie Top valued at $118.

The manager on duty told police the woman was in the dressing room for roughly 25 minutes before she left the room without the items.

The report states the manager checked the room after the customer had left and found only the empty hangers for both items.

Daniel James, the owner of the shop, said he caught the woman responsible on camera along with another woman.

Monday night photos taken from the shop's surveillance camera were posted to the business's Instagram account with the caption:

"Hey everyone it seems that we need your help once again since some people just suck at life. Multiple pictures, swipe right. Identify these two "women" for a *REWARD*. Send us a message and thank you all for not stealing!"

Customers and fans of the shop say this is something they do often.

"It's aggressive, but an effective way to try and track down whoever shoplifted from you," said College of Charleston Junior Flannery Wood. "The community reacts to having that presented."

James said the public's involvement is what helps track down shoplifters, along with the help of surveillance cameras.

"Earlier this year we really realized there was a lot of product walking out the door unpaid," said Russell Robinson, co-owner of Channels.

Channels is another small business which caters in swimwear and clothing.

Robinson said after thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was lifted from his shop, he invested in cameras.

"This time of year it definitely gets more of theft going into beach season," he said.

Robinson said he also had a theft occur Sunday around 2:30 p.m. He has contacted the Charleston Police Department to file a report.

It's not just swim shops that are getting hit though, last week more than $700 worth of merchandise at Victoria's Secret was taken. CPD spokesman Charles Francis said Tuesday afternoon suspects have been identified, the property recovered, and charges are pending.

Before that incident, a woman walked away with $3,600 worth of makeup from Sephora on February 19. Francis said the suspect in the case is in federal prison on an unrelated charge.

The list goes on ranging from chain stores, to locally owned businesses.

"It unbelievable to steal from a local business owner just trying to build something out of this community," said Matthew Dennis, of Charleston. "You should have nothing but support for these people."

"Taking advantage of someone who is trying to make a living, trying to work with their community, it's just sad," Flannery added.

"We have great customers... loyal customers," Robinson said. "Just every once in a while you get a bad egg, and those eggs, I think, hit all these stores."

Police continue to search for suspects in the $24,000 purse theft from Gucci February 17, a $4,500 theft from Louis Vuitton January 16, and a $10,000 pitcher theft from Golden & Associates Antiques December 21, 2016, to name a few.

Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities.

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