Police arrest professional shoplifters in mall bust

A joint effort between the Katy Police Department and Katy Mills Mall security resulted in the arrests of two shoplifters June 6.

Katy Police Chief Noe Diaz said that Teniqua Baines, age 33, and Visha Reed, age 35, were “professional shoplifters” that police and mall security had been tracking. 

Baines has been charged with Theft with Two or More Prior convictions. Her prior convictions include a State Jail felony and Possession of Marijuana.

Reed has been charged with Theft (Class B Misdemeanor) and Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class A Misdemeanor).

“These were not first time offenders,” said Diaz. “Both these suspects have criminal history.”

Diaz has previously cited the crime rate in and around Katy Mills Mall as a major indication of the need for more officers in the department. 

Since his appointment earlier this year, Diaz has also made strides to increase joined efforts with Katy Mills Mall security.

“These two arrests were a direct result of a joint operation between the Katy Police Department, Loss Prevention Officers and Katy Mills Mall Security,” Diaz said.

Diaz stated that Katy police had been tracking shoplifting trends in the mall. They used that data to profile the suspects and their actions. 

“The operation was set in place to catch habitual shoplifters targeting Katy Mills Mall retail outlet stores,” he said.

Diaz explained, “During the operation, officers observed two females enter several retail outlet stores, carrying empty ‘booster bags’. Officers observed the suspects place store merchandise into their booster bags and pass all points of sale without making any attempt to purchase the items.”

“Booster bags” are special bags manufactured for shoplifting. Inside the bags, officers found plyers used to cut off security sensors.

Katy police apprehended the suspects in the mall parking lot.

Officers recovered $1,292.34 in merchandise from the suspects and their vehicle. Officers also found drugs in the suspects’ possession. 

Said Diaz, “The operation was a success due to the partnerships with Katy Mills Mall Security, Loss Prevention Officers and the Katy Police Department. The Katy Police Department would like to thank the Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton and his staff for vigorously prosecuting these habitual violators.”