DES PERES, MO- A shoplifter wore an unusual disguise when he stole nearly $4,000 in merchandise from a West County store, Des Peres Police said.
Security camera footage shows a man before and after he entered a restroom at the mall. When he leaves the room, his appearance is noticeably different.
“Whether it was a fake nose, plastic nose, we’re not sure. There’s definitely a difference in his appearance when he comes out of the restroom. And that’s before he took multiple items,” Des Peres Department of Public Safety Detective Trent Koppel said.
The man allegedly walked into the store with another man and rushed out with armloads of clothing from the North Face Store last Tuesday. The incident happened at about 10:30 a.m. No one was injured.
“He ran in, grabbed a whole bunch of jackets, as much as their arms can hold. Ran into their vehicle, and then fled the area,” Koppel said.
A newer model, white Dodge Charger with Missouri plates is believed to have been the getaway vehicle.
Police suspect that the stolen merchandise will be sold on the black market. With that suspicion comes concern about safety and security, Koppel said.
“I know people like to use the buy, trade, sell. The eBays, and that sort of thing. You just got to be buyer beware. Because whatever you’re purchasing could in fact, be something that was stolen,” she said.
Koppel recommends the general public make any exchanges originated online in person at “safe” spots. The Des Peres Department of Public Safety has a “Community Exchange Zone” in front of the department, for example.
Many local police departments, including Des Peres, have stepped up security at shopping centers during the busy holiday season.
“We have a greater presence at the mall during Christmas time. We want our shoppers to feel safe,” Koppel said. “It’s a safe mall, and we want to keep it that way.”
Police hope anyone who recognizes the man will contact the Des Peres Department of Public Safety: (314) 835-6200.