Chronic Shoplifter Nabbed

OCEAN CITY – A Brookhaven, Pa. woman was charged this week with felony theft and theft scheme after going to the same well too often in a shoplifting spree at a resort pharmacy dating back to April.

On Aug. 3, OCPD officers responded to a reported shoplifter in custody at the CVS store on 120th Street. When they arrived, the officers met with store officials who had caught a woman, later identified as Deborah Hoover, 52, stealing cosmetics. Hoover admitted stealing $372 worth of Burt’s Bees products from the store and was charged with misdemeanor theft. She was later released after being issued a criminal citation.

On April 11, OCPD officers investigated a similar theft from the same CVS during which a woman resembling Hoover had stolen over $1,045 worth of cosmetics. In that case, when the management of the store reviewed surveillance tapes and observed a person matching Hoover’s description enter the store, take a shopping cart and head directly to the cosmetics aisle, where she put items into the cart before transferring them to a large handbag.

The suspect was never caught and the investigation continued until last week when resort police were able to put the two cases together. When OCPD Cpl. Lesa Breneman reviewed the surveillance tapes from the April 11 theft, she immediately recognized Hoover as the same person.

Breneman then charged Hoover with felony theft and theft scheme in addition to the misdemeanor charges against her from the April 3 incident. A District Court judge issued a criminal summons last Thursday to be served on Hoover, who was taken into custody shortly thereafter.