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Caught on video: Thief chats, steals from North County boutique

Caught on video: Thief chats, steals from North County boutique
Posted at 5:04 PM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 21:20:29-05

ENCINITAS, Calif. (KGTV) - Surveillance video catches a woman chatting and stealing inside an Encinitas boutique.

A missing necklace was the first clue. When Heidi Linkogle looked at her shop's surveillance video, the theft was revealed, move by move.

"Unbelievable. Devastated," said Linkogle.

On Saturday afternoon at the Radix Boutique, a woman in her 40s walked in.

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"She got a few items off clearance outside and went shopping. Really chatty and unassuming," said Linkogle.

Linkogle's assistant was working that day. In the video, the shopper is seen picking out two pairs of earrings and a bracelet, before ducking into the changing room. When she emerges from the dressing room, she has an armful of clothes but there is no sign of the jewelry. The woman leaves the shop briefly and returns with a big purse. She picks out some clothes, walks out of view, bends down and stuffs her purse.

"She is bold and definitely experienced," said Linkogle.

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Soon after, at the register - and with the clerk's back turned - the woman is recorded grabbing a necklace and placing it into wallet, just as the clerk returns. The woman chats up the clerk before paying for the clearance items. As she leaves, there is more sticky fingers, as she stuffs more clothing into the shopping bag. The total loss is nearly $200.

"It hurts. It really does," said Linkogle.

In the past year, she's seen an increase in shoplifting at her shop. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the North Coastal Sheriff's Station at 760-966-3500.