RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The arrest of a woman in connection with shoplifting from a high-end Raleigh department store highlights the increasing threat retailers face daily.
On Monday the Saks 5th Avenue store at Triangle Town Center fell victim to a shoplifting incident.
The suspect is accused of stealing over $6,000 in goods from the store and was arrested on the scene by police.
Warrants say Javiera Valentina Gonzalez-Quilodran stole over $6,600 worth of Versace clothing.
She made her first appearance via video link from jail speaking through an interpreter, charged with both felony larceny as well as felony conspiracy.
It’s unclear from her court appearance why she’s charged with conspiracy. However, the Assistant District Attorney told the judge she was a “potential national security risk.”
Judge Rashad Hauter set bond at $50,000 secured and told her she faces a maximum sentence of 39 months for larceny and a maximum sentence of 24 months for felony conspiracy if she is convicted.
We do know shoplifting is becoming an increasingly large problem for retailers here and nationally.
“It’s not really for personal gain or consumption, it’s for financial gain and in many instances tied to organized enterprises that are doing this for profit,” said David Johnston of the National Retail Federation.
The federation says shoplifting losses annually are between $94 and $100 billion.
Cities around the country are reporting gangs of people sweeping into stores in mass shoplifting attempts.
“We are dealing with a serious issue nationally with regards to shoplifting and retail crime,” said Johnston.
To try and combat shoplifting on a national scale, Congress is looking at a bill that would establish a national retail crime coordination center to provide shoplifting intelligence to law enforcement.
It would also provide shoplifting training and technical assistance to law enforcement.
As for the shoplifting suspect who was in court today, she faces up to 5 years in jail on various charges if she is convicted.