EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 14, 2013

Lawrence woman arrested in theft of thousands of dollars from mall stores

By Tom Dalton
Staff Writer

---- — PEABODY — A 28-year-old Lawrence woman was arrested yesterday in connection with the theft of thousands of dollars worth of bras, underwear, cosmetics and other items from the Northshore Mall and other area shopping centers.

Jennifer Santos, of 57 Cedar St., Lawrence, will be arraigned Monday in Peabody District Court on charges linked to multiple thefts at Victoria’s Secret, Sephora and Abercrombie & Fitch stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Media reports have estimated the amount of stolen merchandise at more than $100,000.

She was arrested without incident yesterday at 2 p.m. at her home in Lawrence, according to Peabody Police.

Just two weeks ago, Victoria’s Secret at the Northshore Mall reported the theft of 72 bras worth more than $3,700. It was the ninth time the store had been hit since April.

There has been a similar rash of thefts at the Mall at Rockingham Park in New Hampshire.

Peabody Police started investigating the crimes in May, working with Lawrence Police, the U.S. Marshal’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Department, Northshore Mall Security and loss prevention officials at Sephora and Victoria’s Secret.

Patrolman John Nelson and Detective Ralph Scopa headed the investigation for Peabody Police, with assistance from patrol officers who cover the Northshore Mall as part of their beat.

During the course of the four-month investigation, police obtained a photograph of the suspect, which was provided to the media. Investigators soon learned the woman’s identity, but were unable to locate her for some time.

Peabody Police obtained a warrant for the suspect on multiple counts of larceny over $250. Santos was charged with six counts of larceny over $250 and three counts of trespassing.

Tom Dalton can be reached at tdalton@salemnews.com.