MANATEE — A local Victoria’s Secret has lost thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise during multiple grand thefts, the most recent involving 90 bras valued at $4,242, police reports say.
The lingerie and clothing store at DeSoto Square mall, 303 U.S. 301 Blvd. E., has seen five thefts in the last four months, at least three incidents last year, and at least one each in 2006 and 2007, according to records from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
Jennifer Ortiz Brown, a spokeswoman for Limited Brands, parent company of Victoria’s Secret, said her company “values its relationship with law enforcement and works aggressively with them to deter and identify criminals of theft.”
“We continue to cooperate fully with authorities to prosecute these criminals,” Brown said.
The most recent incident was reported Friday, according to a sheriff’s report.
“The reporting person claimed that the store was extremely busy and all employees were stationed in the back portion of the store, leaving the front drawers, which contained the bras, unattended,” the report said.
The store has video surveillance but that it was inoperable at the time, according to the report.
A Sept. 25 report said bras were stolen but did not say how many or what they were worth. It said they had been taken from the store two days earlier during inventory. Once again, there was no video evidence.
On Aug. 9, an employee reported that someone stole numerous perfumes and lotions worth $541 from a new display.
“Out of five employees at the store, none saw anything suspicious,” the officer wrote. “There is no video camera set up at the store.”
In July, two other grand thefts were reported.
In a July 11 report, a sales associate said someone stole about 50 panties from a tabletop and then fled. The report noted that the garments carried no anti-theft devices.
Moreno reported yet another theft July 3, this one involving 98 bras worth an estimated $4,200, according to a police report.
Three separate incidents were reported at the store last year, amounting to $8,290 worth of losses, sheriff’s reports said.
Sheriff’s office spokesman Dave Bristow noted that shoplifting is an extremely prevalent crime and to prevent it, “The merchants have to get involved with this.”
“Some of the stores have very good surveillance systems that provide us with very good pictures,” Bristow noted.“They also have loss prevention people in the stores.”