Women sought after Berks Co store theft (PHOTOS)
MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - November 28, 2012 (WPVI) -- Police in Berks County say the group of women pulled off a coordinated shoplifting scheme over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.
Authorities say the seven suspects targeted a Target in Muhlenberg Township on Sunday.
Investigators told Action News they had identified all of the thieves, but two women accused of being involved, told police they did nothing wrong.
Police say 7 women with one shopping cart took TVs, video games, movies and bedding worth an estimated $2,700.
Three of the suspects are in custody Wednesday night. They are all juvenile. According to police, they were arrested Sunday night in a related situation, an alleged shoplifting incident at a K-mart.
"Six girls placing merchandise in to the shopping cart. The 7th is pushing the shopping cart around. For about an hour, they were shopping. They place $2,700 worth of merchandise into the shopping cart, and then just walked out the door," explained Officer Joel Marino.
Police released photos of seven suspects on Tuesday.
Two of the women in the photos came forward on Wednesday saying they had nothing to do with the crime.
"I didn't take nothing," said Veronica Montano. "That is my picture, but I didn't take anything."
Montano says she was at the Target Sunday looking for shoes. She is baffled and upset her photo has been released as a suspect in a large scale shoplifting.
"I went to meet my sister to buy shoes for my niece," she said. She believes she has been misidentified.
Montano's sister was also with her Wednesday at the police station. Her photo was also released by authorities as one of the seven.
"I am very upset about this. This is very embarrassing," said Yajaira Montano. She also told Action News that she has been wrongly identified.
Based on the sisters' claims, Muhlenberg Township Police are now reviewing the Target surveillance video and talking to the sisters.
"We are interviewing them right now. They are being interview, and they are cooperating fully," said Officer Marino.
The video of the woman loading up the shopping cart that presumably lead to the Montanos being implicated has not been released or shown to the sisters.
"I want them to show me proof that I took anything," said Veronica Montano. "I took nothing at all. I work hard for everything I have."
Both sisters talked with police at length Wednesday. They left the police station maintaining they were not involved.
Police are continuing their investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert: Berks County at 877-373-9913.
berks county, pennsylvania, theft, local/state
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