Thieves Use Skirts, Kids In Crime

HOUSTON, Texas - The owners of a Galleria children's store said Thursday that they caught three women boldly stealing from them by using their children as a distraction and skirts to hide their loot.

Three women and four small children walked into the Kid to Kid consignment shop on Post Oak Boulevard in the Galleria area on Monday afternoon. Owner Sherri Sakson said she did not pick up on anything right away, but the store's eight surveillance cameras did.

"We could see them from every angle stealing from us," Sakson said. "They would crowd around one another and hide one another as they were stealing."

The video shows one of the women stuffing a handful of clothes down her long skirt. On a normal skirt, the loot would fall out the bottom and onto the floor, but the stolen clothes seem to disappear. It turns out, it's a trick skirt commonly called a shoplifter's skirt, police said.

At Kid to Kid, Sakson caught on when the ladies split up and one asked her to come to the back of the store to find a certain size.

"And that's when I thought, 'Wait a minute. I know what they're doing,'" said Sakson.

By the time Sakson ran to the front, the others were halfway across the parking lot. Sakson said they let their toddlers do the talking.

"The two toddler girls both held up their hands and said 'We didn't take anything. We don't have anything. We didn't steal anything,'" explained Sakson.

Sakson said it appears the group made off with about $100 worth of clothes, as well as a pair of shoes they put on one little girl's feet just before they walked out the door.

Sakson filed a police report and gave investigators a copy of the surveillance video. If you recognize any of the women in the video, give HPD a call.

Copyright 2011 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.