Authorities say they’ve busted a major shoplifting operation that may be responsible for stealing more than $300,000 worth of merchandise from metro Atlanta stores.
Photo: WSB-TV
Photo: WSB-TV

Thieves target Gwinnett Victoria’s Secret stores, steal $300K in items

Police have arrested six people they say shoplifted from a large number of stores, including every Victoria’s Secret in Gwinnett County, taking home more than $300,000 in stolen items.

Gwinnett County officers have arrested people from two separate shoplifting crews and are seeking another on a felony shoplifting warrant, Channel 2 Action News reported.  The thieves were captured on camera shoving items into garbage bags and shopping totes before running out of the stores.

“I was able to see that the same people were coming in time and time again, sometimes multiple times in a single day,” said Cpl. Brandon Townley, who investigated the thefts for months before the recent arrests. 

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The people charged in connection with these thefts are:

• Shydajha Johnson, 20, of Athens, charged with three counts of felony shoplifting

• Akasia Ford, 20, of Athens, charged with one count of felony shoplifting

• Deonte Walton, 23, of Athens, charged with one count of felony shoplifting

• Christya James, 27, of Atlanta, charged with one count of felony shoplifting

• Tearia Hicks, 24, of Norcross, charged with three counts of felony shoplifting

• Cedronia Johnson, charged with one count of felony shoplifting (her age and location was not immediately available)

Police have also taken a felony shoplifting warrant out for Elantra Roach, who has not been apprehended.

Shydajha Johnson, Ford, Walton and Roach are believed to be part of one crew, and James, Hicks and Cedronia Johnson are believed to be part of another group, Channel 2 reported.

Surveillance footage shows shoplifters clearing entire tables of clothes and underwear in seconds before fleeing with the stolen goods. 

While the shoplifters have hit a variety of different stores, they most frequently targeted Victoria’s Secret, Townley said. The thefts have not been contained to Gwinnett County; Townley said the crews have also targeted Victoria’s Secret locations in Cobb, Hall and Fulton counties as well.

“If they’ve got a Victoria’s Secret in metro Atlanta, they’ve probably been a victim, whether they realize it or not, they’re probably a victim of these crews,” Townley said.

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According to police, two different crews have been going to stores, mostly Victoria’s Secret, and stuffing trash bags with goods.

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