Four women seen with arms full of clothing and shoes from the Macy's department store at Stanford Shopping Center were arrested Sunday after officers found them with nearly $5,000 worth of merchandise stolen from various retailers, according to the Palo Alto Police Department.
Around 3:50 p.m., police dispatch received a call from a shopper who witnessed a grab-and-run theft at the store located at 180 El Camino Real, according to a press release issued Monday.
The shopper recorded four women with arms full of merchandise and followed the group until one of the women, later identified as a 19-year-old from East Palo Alto, became agitated and allegedly assaulted the witness, kicking her in the buttocks, police said. The shopper, who did not sustain any injuries, continued to follow the four women into the parking lot until the group fled in a vehicle and called the police.
Responding officers located the car using the descriptions provided by the shopper, and stopped the four women at University Avenue and Donohoe Street in East Palo Alto by Amazon's campus.
Police found stolen clothing inside the vehicle and dropped around various locations near the shopping center. They estimated more than $5,000 worth of merchandise was stolen from Macy's and other stores, police spokeswoman Janine De la Vega said.
Upon reviewing evidence and conducting interviews, investigators determined the four women planned to steal from the shopping center and sell the merchandise, according to the press release. Police are also investigating to see if they are connected to similar thefts.
All four women were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of three felonies: organized retail theft, grand theft and possession of stolen property. Two of the women, ages 28 and 19, were from Antioch and the other two women were both 19-year-old East Palo Alto residents. The 19-year-old East Palo Alto woman who allegedly kicked the shopper was also arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery.
De la Vega recommends anyone who witnesses a theft should make observations by taking down details such as clothing, hair color and license plate number, among other details, then call the police.
The Stanford Shopping Center Security could not immediately provide comment to the Weekly on Monday afternoon.
Editor's note: The Weekly's policy is to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. See our guidelines here.