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A mother and daughter from Los Angeles, California have been accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from Victoria's Secret stores over the course of two years.
According to police reports, Maria Karina Perez, 38, and her daughter, Melissa Susana Partida, 19, used a practiced method to steal over $250,000 worth of merchandise from the popular lingerie retail chain. In surveillance footage of the thefts, three people can be seen entering the store with a stroller, which they then filled with merchandise, KTLA reports. While one person distracted the sales staff, the other two quietly slipped out of the store.
The "panty bandits," as they've come to be known, reportedly targeted the neighborhoods of Oxnard and Thousand Oaks most recently, and stole from stores in those areas five times over the last five months. After working with Victoria's Secret Loss Prevention to review surveillance footage and other evidence, detectives eventually identified as suspects Los Angeles residents Perez and Partida, who are alleged to have worked with an unidentified 15-year-old female to commit the thefts.
Detectives say the group traveled to different stores throughout California where they participated in the same ruse, stealing $250,000 worth of merchandise since 2016. The threesome were arrested on Sunday, ABC reports, and now face charges of commercial burglary, with Partida also facing two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.