Shoplifters tracked by GPS on stolen merchandise

- A GPS tracking device helped Pasco County deputies track down three women accused of shoplifting more than $2,500 in merchandise from Tampa Premium Outlet Mall.

According to investigators, Toccara Marlesha, 34, Ayanna Palacio, 39, and Sharhonda Pedroso, 47, were caught with about $1,500 worth of items from Sacks Off Fifth Avenue and another $1,000 in items from Pacific Sunwear and Hollister.

One of the items from Sacks had a small GPS tracking unit in it. Store employees were able to give deputies up-to-the-minute locations of the women.

Deputies arrested them eight miles from the mall.

"It's the first time that I've heard of it," said Sgt. Richard Jones. "I was actually learning about it as the call was unfolding and we're investigating it. I can tell you, it's a great investigative tool, but it should also be a deterrent for future retail theft."

Deputies said the women used anti-shoplifting devices known as booster bags, which prevents alarms from going off.

Detectives added this isn't the first time these women have done this; they're fugitives in Pasco and other counties for retail thefts. They're not facing additional felony retail theft charges in connection with this case.

Investigators were not able to recover all the items and anyone with information should contact the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

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