A 38-year-old woman is facing charges after authorities claim she stole nearly $300,000 of high-end merchandise from Southern California stores, FOX 5 says.
On Wednesday (December 1), California Highway Patrol says Ekaterina Zharkova was arrested on suspicion of grand theft. Investigators executed a search warrant at her Costa Mesa home, claiming they found 2,333 stolen items. The residence was "packed wall to wall in every room" with bags and clothing from luxury brands, including Gucci, Prada, and Jimmy Choo, officials added.
"The merchandise was located with the store tags still in place and several of the items had the disabled security sensors still affixed," CHP wrote in a statement.
This news comes amid a rash of "flash mobs" targeting high-end stores and stealing swathes of products. Authorities noted, however, that Zharkova worked alone and would sell the items online. Investigators also observed the California woman allegedly stealing from businesses "on several occasions."
CHP arrested Zharkova after they caught her allegedly loading up a shopping cart at a Nordstrom Rack store, using a tool to remove security sensors, and leaving with $3,500 of stolen merchandise. She was reportedly handcuffed at her car.
Zharkova was booked into Orange County Jail but has since been released, according to jail records. The investigation is ongoing.