FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Panty thieves struck a popular lingerie store at the Bell Tower Shops a second time in six weeks.
The thieving foursome was clearly photographed at Victoria's Secret after stuffing over $1,000 worth of merchandise in big black bags, Friday. "They kind of meandered out the front door as if they had done nothing wrong, almost a sense of entitlement," said Trish Routte from Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers.
About six weeks ago, an almost identical incident happened at the same store, with suspects matching the same description. Fox 4 spoke with store owners in the mall shortly after the first strike. "We have security guards here every day that are constantly patrolling, so it's definitely hard to believe," said one store owner.
However, they aren't too surprised at this point. The owner of Pink Pineapple, a store that sells high end dresses and jewelry, told Fox 4 that a thief swiped $210 worth of clothing from her store early Monday morning. The same person stole the same outfit in a different color in a previous week. "We see so many of these," said Routte. "Where they just go back time and time again and take whatever they want."
Other employees at the mall said security is not allowed to check patrons bags, even if they are suspected of a theft. Fox 4 reached out to ask how they nab thieves. Bell Tower Shops sent the following statement:
"At Bell Tower Shops, we are committed to the safety and well-being of our shoppers and center employees. Since this incident is currently under police investigation, I cannot provide you with any specific details. As a general policy, we do not comment on or provide access to specific security measures that our center implements on a daily basis to help provide a safe environment for our customers and employees. As I’m sure you can understand, we need to keep these measures confidential to help ensure the safety of our property and our shoppers."
Anyone with information on the identities and whereabouts of any of the four suspects is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Tips may also be made online at www.swflcrimestoppers.org or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.