Local police stop Oklahoma shoplifting ring

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Police say a group of suspects traveled city to city stealing from malls.

This week, the crime-spree hit a wall at Penn Square Mall.

At least one of the people arrested was caught doing the same things near Houston earlier this year and it looks like Oklahoma City police have caught him again.

Half  dozen officers gathered late Thursday afternoon at Penn Square to help put an end to the ring.

"They were notified that there was a possible organized shoplifting group that was operating inside Penn Square mall," Msgt. Gary Knight with Oklahoma City Police said.

Officers in other areas have been monitoring these rings and gave police the tip.

"There were a total of 3 but they located 2 at the scene," Knight said about the suspects.

The third person was in an SUV, police say it served as a getaway car.

"Another had left in a SUV, that SUV was stopped a very short time later," Knight says.

In the end, all three were caught.

Inside the car, police found more than $10,000 worth of goods from Penn Square mall and Quail Springs mall.

All three suspects are from the Dallas area.

Clemencia Morales, Teresa Flores and Wally Vargas-Lopez are all waiting charges in the Oklahoma County Jail.

Vargas-Lopez was held at a jail near Houston earlier this year for stealing clothes.

Police say these rings are not new, but have been more common in recent weeks.

"Sometimes you'll see a little bit more of it when you get closer to Christmas because you get more people in the mall," Knight said.

There are reports that the ring may have been linked to a larger Tulsa shoplifting ring, but right now police say this is an isolated incident to the metro area.