PURCELL, Okla. - Purcell police believe they have taken down a major shoplifting ring after arresting five women at the local Walmart.
They say the women were attempting to return about $3,000 worth of merchandise.
“The clerk had started noticing receipts that didn’t look right. There was something altered about them,” said Sgt. Scott Stephens, with the Purcell Police Department.
Police were called out and they began questioning the women who are all from the Dallas, Forth Worth area.
They told police they were Christmas shopping.
“Well they said that they had better merchandise here than they did in Dallas. And we believed that completely,” said Sgt. Stephens.
While they were talking with police, one of the women slipped away, but she didn’t make it far.
“Located her inside of a tin horn in a ditch behind the building,” said Sgt. Stephens.
Police say the women were sophisticated shoplifters and had receipts from Walmarts, JcPenney’s, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross.
And they found tons of merchandise, including clothing and cell phone cases, in their van.
“They had quite a bit of cash with them and they had lots and lots of rechargeable credit cards,” said Sgt. Peters. “We don’t know if they’ve been doing stuff like this in other states other than Oklahoma and Texas, but we have suspicions that they might be.”
And police say the women were spending at least some of the money just up the road at Riverwind Casino.
“They were gambling and then they’d go to Walmart, and then they’d come back and gamble some more, and then they’d go to Wal-Mart and come back and gamble some more,” said Sgt. Stephens.
All five women were charged with two counts of felony value – false pretense, bogus check, con game and one count of knowingly concealing stolen property.
They have all pleaded not guilty.