‘A terrible cancer:’ Police believe brazen group of mall thieves has ties to Illinois thefts

PLEASANT PRAIRIE -- Their crime spree could now span multiple states. The five people accused of stealing $4,000 worth of items from the Prime Outlet Mall in Pleasant Prairie are also suspected in thefts at six different malls in Illinois.

Flyers circulating this month in northern Illinois depict surveillance images of six suspects accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of clothing from multiple Victoria's Secret locations in Burr Ridge and Wheaton.

Suspects accused of stealing thousands from multiples stores in IL

David Beth

"They go to different malls, they stake them out where they can go in and grab armfuls of clothing, run out the door to the fleeing car," said Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth.

Sheriff Beth said they're likely the same people who stole $4,000 worth of merchandise from the Premium Outlet Mall on Jan. 24.

"The initial photos that I looked at online appear to be the same group of people that were going out and seem to be making a hobby or living doing this main felony shoplifting," Sheriff Beth said.

19-year-old Eugene Scull, 20-year-old Sandra Smith, 18-year-old Kevion Thompson and 23-year-old Wanda Winslow -- as well as an unnamed 16-year-old -- were arrested and charged after leading officers on a high speed chase that exceeded 100 miles-per-hour ended in a crash with two other vehicles.

Eugene Scull, Kevion Thompson, Sandra Smith, Wanda Winslow

Crash after pursuit following retail theft at Premium Outlet Mall

 

The crew could face additional charges in Illinois.

"You worry about the cancer spread. This is a terrible cancer. These five people, or maybe a few other people involved in this in the last two weeks, have stolen $40,000 from different stores," Beth said.

Sheriff Beth predicts this isn't the last we've heard of them.

"I'll bet you anything that there's more stores out there if they keep looking that this group is related to. We all pay for this in one way or another. We either pay for it with the merchandise that we buy or in this case, we're now putting them in jail," Beth said.

The suspects are due back in court in Kenosha County on Feb. 2. Sheriff Beth said he has invited any Illinois law enforcement agencies to come up here to interview with suspects about their shoplifting cases to determine whether they are the same people.

One suspect, Kevion Thompson, has already been positively identified.