EARLY — For the second day in a row, shoplifting suspects face felony charges after incidents in local stores.
Orelia Munoz, 36, and Yvonne Romero, 46, both of Brownwood, were arrested Monday after a shoplifting at JC Penney at Heartland Mall involving more than $1,300 worth of merchandise, Early Police Chief David Mercer said. One of the suspect’s two children were detained.
Both women were booked into the Brown County Jail on charges of engaging in organized criminal criminal activity — filed as state jail felonies — and theft, jail records state. Munoz was also charged with solicitation of a minor.
Both women remained jailed Tuesday.
Officer Reese Shaffer was dispatched to the store on a report that shoplifters had just fled, Mercer said. An employee gave a vehicle description and license plate number, and Reese saw the vehicle on C.C. Woodson. He stopped the vehicle on Carnegie Street in Brownwood. Numerous items taken from the store were in the vehicle, Mercer said.
“Both of the females admitted to the theft and all the items were recovered,” Mercer said.
Store employees said two adult women had entered the store with two juveniles. Employees became suspicious of the people and watched them as they shopped, Mercer said. Employees saw them place items including jewelry and clothing in a bag. When the bag was full, one of the women went to the home department, picked up a comforter and began walking to the west entrance.
An employee followed her outside and asked her for a receipt for the comforter, Mercer said. She led the employee to her vehicle and said the receipt was in the car. The woman got in the car, and the employee grabbed the comforter, wrote down the license number and went back into the store to call the police.
The other woman then left the south entrance with the two juveniles — a 13-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl — and other items, Mercer said. The four drove away.
The boy was released to his father at the request of the juvenile probation department pending charges, and the girl was also released to her father, Mercer said.
In an unrelated case, Vanessa Miller, 28, of Brownwood remained jailed Tuesday on a robbery charge. Miller was arrested Sunday at Wal-Mart after an attempted shoplifting. Police said the suspect became violent with an employee who detained her.