CHESTERFIELD, Mo. - Authorities believe an East St. Louis, Illinois woman with a history of theft cases against her ran an online boutique out of her basement where she was selling stolen merchandise. Now she is behind bars after pleading guilty in a separate stealing case.
Investigators say the woman hit most all of the retail areas in Chesterfield.
Sgt. Keith Rider, Chesterfield Police Department, says some $20,000 worth of stolen merchandise was discovered at the East St. Louis home of 29-year-old Twanna Trotter during a police search last November.
Rider says Trotter and others stole the merchandise from many areas, including Chesterfield, then Trotter would try to sell it on Facebook.
"She basically had a boutique set up in her basement where she would advertise what she had and show them on the live video and, I guess, hoping for people to come and buy those products for her," Rider said.
"I describe it as the QVC of stolen clothes. I mean, she had things set up and things she was planning on selling that day."
Rider says his detectives would actually watch Trotter's Facebook Live sessions to see what she was selling.
"The products that they observed she was selling we were able to track back to actually stole from retail areas in Chesterfield as well as throughout St. Louis County, and also as far as Osage Beach," he said.
Rider says Trotter has a history of arrests in Chesterfield for retail thefts.
In fact, he calls her a professional shoplifter.
On Thursday, Trotter pled guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison for cases, including a 2018 theft at a Chesterfield Walmart.
"Retail crime is not a victimless crime," Ridler said. "It's going to drive the prices up. You know there's a lot of other issues with the retail crime and so we really wanted to put a stop to it because she was really hitting the St. Louis area hard."
Rider says the case at Trotter's home is still under investigation by authorities in Illinois.
At this point, no charges have been filed yet in connection with that search and seizure.