STOCKTON — Stockton police are looking for a man seen in a surveillance video stealing hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise from Pawtastic Thrift Boutique.
“He’s been in the store before, actually, and he came in very nicely, greeted our volunteer, proceeded to look around, try on clothes,” said the store’s owner, Debbie Freitas.
Freitas said that’s when the man went into the dressing room and tried on some clothes. He then continued to look around the store before he made his way to a counter, where he grabbed a handful of high fashion jewelry and rushed out the front door, leaving a trail of jewelry behind.
“He came back a couple days later and, in fact, he actually came back today,” Freitas told FOX40. “So we called Stockton PD right away and come to find out he, apparently, did steal something at that time too.”
The suspect was able to get away with a pair of pants before police arrived.
Pawtastic, which is located on Stockton’s Miracle Mile, sells pet supplies, clothes, household items and more. A portion of the store’s profits goes to different animal shelters, rescues and organizations.
“We’re overrun in the city with abandoned, homeless animals,” Freitas said. “They’re living beings. They’re living creatures and it’s just another avenue to help.”
Freitas was frustrated because she said the man wasn’t just stealing money out of her pocket, he was stealing from all the people who donated to her store and the organizations she helps support.
“It’s a huge violation, it’s a huge violation. You’re here working hard, providing a community service,” she said. “And to have something like this happen is very upsetting because it’s also taking money away from those potential sales from what we can provide to our cause.”
She said she’s working with police and hopes the man is identified and caught before he hits another store.
“You don’t get to come in and take away from the community, from the innocent, from the people that are doing good. You are going to be prosecuted and I’ll do everything I can in my power to pursue that,” Freitas said.
The owner told FOX40 this wasn’t the only time thieves have targeted her shop.
She has started the process of making changes to the store and upgrading their security to make sure her volunteers and customers feel safe.