Shoplifting suspect tracked down after leaving cell phone behind at Kohl’s

A shoplifting suspect was tracked down after leaving her cell phone behind in a shopping cart at Kohl’s.

Stephanie Blanco, 27, of Leesburg, on Tuesday night fled the store at Lady Lake Crossing carrying a large flat purse and a Kohl’s mesh shopping bag, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. She was pursued by the store’s loss prevention officer.

Blanco got into a dark Honda Ridgeline pickup truck after she dropped the stolen merchandise in the parking lot. The loss prevention officer was able to take a picture of the truck and its license plate. The merchandise she attempted to take included two pairs of women’s sunglasses, Adidas shoes and women’s clothing with a total value of $202.43.

Blanco had been using a shopping cart and a white cell phone was found in the cart. The phone proved to be crucial in tracking down the suspected shoplifter.

“I was able to make contact with Stephanie via her boyfriend’s phone and advised her of who I was and that I had her phone,” the police officer wrote in the arrest report. “Stephanie then began to get upset and cry stating that she was sorry she did not want to steal, but she was doing it to sell it and make money for her son’s birthday.”

The officer arranged to meet Blanco at RaceTrac in Lady Lake where she was issued a notice to appear June 6 in Lake County Court.

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