Two Baltimore women were convicted in connection with a retail theft ring that stole more than $100,000 worth of clothing and accessories from Victoria’s Secret, Dick’s Sporting Goods, True Religion and other stores in Maryland, the state attorney general’s office announced Thursday.
Lisa M. Williams, 55, and Lyric McLaughlin, 23, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a retail theft scheme of $100,000 or more, Attorney General Brian Frosh said. McLaughlin was sentenced to four years in prison by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Yolanda Tanner. Williams will be sentenced July 24.
The theft occurred from January through June of 2017, according to information presented in court, when Williams, McLaughlin and others targeted retailers that also included PINK, Hollister, Sunglass Hut, Lens Crafters, Pearl Vision, JC Penney and ULTA, Frosh’s announcement said.
McLaughlin and others would go into stores, select large quantities of merchandise, conceal the items in large bags, then leave the store without paying. The women advertised and sold the stolen merchandise on Instagram. Buyers often went to Williams’ home in East Baltimore to purchase items.
“These two women participated in an organized scheme to steal thousands of dollars’ worth of goods,” Frosh said. “The thefts and subsequent sales were brazen and numerous. Honest businesses can take comfort in the fact that we will prosecute and shut down theft rings like this one.”
Maryland State Police searched Williams’ home in June 2017 and recovered 99 boxes of accessories and clothing, many of which had price tags and security sensors attached. Police also recovered Williams’ cellphone, which contained images and texts relating to the theft and sale of the stolen merchandise.
The attorney general’s criminal investigations division investigated the case along with the criminal enforcement division of the state police. They were assisted by the Office of the State Prosecutor, the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office.