Police in Naples said they had to "tase" a Hialeah man, who they arrested on charges of trying to steal $3,986 worth of items from a Victoria's Secret store at the Coastland Center Mall.
45-year-old Luis Padin faces grand theft charges after allegedly stuffing almost 300 items from Victoria's Secret into a large shopping bag.
At around 4:00 p.m. on Friday, a Naples Police officer at the mall spotted Padin walking near an exit carrying a large Hugo Boss shopping bag. The officer noted that there is no Hugo Boss store at Coastland Center Mall.
According to a police report, the officer suspected the bag had stolen merchandise inside. When he told Padin to stop, he said Padin ran through the parking lot instead. Another officer responding to the scene tased Padin and put him in handcuffs.
Inside the bag, officers said they found 296 Victoria's Secret items. Management at the store told police that they wished to prosecute Padin, who lives in Hialeah. He told investigators that he took an Uber all the way from Miami to Golden Gate, then got a ride to the mall from an unknown driver.
This is the latest arrest in a string of thefts at Victoria's Secret stores in Southwest Florida. Similar crimes have been reported at Victoria's Secret stores in Port Charlotte and Fort Myers in the past year.
In early February, former police officer Walt Zalisko told Fox 4 that people nationwide are getting paid to shoplift at the stores. He said that the layout of the stores makes it easy for thieves to get away, especially since the check-out registers are in the back of the stores.
"These are organized criminal enterprises that are specifically going out and stealing volumes of items," Zalisko said. "Everything that's set up in front of the store is easy pickings for a shoplifter."
On Saturday, the manager of the Victoria's Secret store at the Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers reported the theft of 300 pairs of Cheekies underwear, valued at $4,500, from store shelves by unknown suspects. The manager told police that she wished to prosecute.