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Shop releases video of alleged shoplifters, seeks public’s help identifying 5 women

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Posted at 4:12 PM, Jul 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-24 23:31:15-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's not the group you expect to rip you off.

"It looked like a grandmother, a mother, daughters and niece--so it wasn't someone you would point out to be suspicious," say Morgan Mickles, who is the sales associate who was helping the group of five women.

The alleged theft occurred at Bauer’s Fashion Eyewear, located at 51 South Main Street in City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, around 6 p.m. Thursday.

Mickles said the women were polite, saying "please" and "thank you". When they asked to see a pair of sunglasses behind a locked glass door, she thought nothing of opening the door and walking away to help other customers.

Surveillance video captures the group crowding around the sunglasses case. One woman, wearing a red tank top, seems to step back and keep an eye out for the store employee.

"I believe the older woman probably was the overseer of the operation: She kind of watched and kept tabs," Mickles said.

Satisfied that they are in the clear, the group of women walk out of the store with six pairs of sunglasses ranging from $150 to $200 each. The total haul was $1,030 worth of products.

"You want to trust people, naturally, you do," Mickles said. "You want to believe that people are just doing the right thing, they're not bad people and they're not here to steal from you."

She also said it's a lesson learned the hard way. The next time she, or any other employee, walks away from a sunglasses case it will be locked.

Salt Lake City police are investigating the case, and anyone with information about the women or the alleged theft is asked to contact authorities.

Store employees said regardless of whether or not it helps the case, they wanted to get the surveillance video in the public eye. They don't believe this is the first time the group of women have pulled off such a crime, and it may not be the last. They said they hope the video will serve as a warning to others to keep an eye out.