MANKATO (TEC News) -- A felony theft charge has been filed against the Mankato woman who earlier this month was caught shoplifting over $2,100 worth of merchandise from the Mankato Target store.
26-year-old Jessica June Friedrichs face one count of Theft in Blue Earth County District Court.
Mankato police were called to Target on January 3 after a Target loss prevention employee stopped Friedrichs pushing a cart full of merchandise past checkouts and out the front doors without paying.
Value of the merchandise was placed at $2,164.75.
Employee Erik DiLorenzo told police started watching Friedrichs and another woman "VR" on closed-circuit television around 7:40 p.m. placing multiple blu ray and DVD movies into her car. Over the next hour, DiLorenzo says he watched the women place merchandise from electronics, cosmetics, stationery, home, women's clothing, cleaning supplies and grocery into the car.
According to investigators, around 8:45 p.m., the "VR" was seen leaving the story and moving an SUV to a parking spot closer to the front doors.
DiLorenzo says about five minutes later, he watched Friedrichs push the cart into the jewelry department where she left the cart, walked around for 30 seconds before returning to the cart and pushing it towards the door.
DiLorenzo stopped Friedrichs when she pushed the cart into the vestibule and tried to abandon the cart and leave when approached and asked about the cart.
Friedrichs eventually returned to the store and allegedly admitted to trying to steal the merchandise.
According to DiLorenzo, that's when Friedrichs also admitted to shoplifting at Target on December 26, 2011. Friedrichs also said that the other woman's boyfriend, "JR" had also been stealing TVs and other electronics from Target.
Friedrichs and "VR" and "JR" are roommates at 212 Emerson Lane in Mankato.
Police gave Friedrichs a citation and released her.
The next day, Mankato police were called back to Target after store loss prevention had developed more information about possible thefts involving Friedrichs and her roommates.
At this point, charges have only been filed against Friedrichs and not the other three persons of interest mentioned by name in the criminal complaint.
DiLorenzo told Mankato police that he had reviewed additional Target store video and had spoken with loss prevention from Scheels and another store in the River Hills Mall about similar thefts.
In addition, on November 23, 2011, Mankato police had taken a report from the Mankato Wal-Mart regarding to a Hispanic male and white female seen on video leaving the store with a TV without paying for it. However, following information from the January 3 theft at Wal-Mart, police were able to identify the Wal-Mart shoplifters as Friedrichs and "JR".
Target investigators, meanwhile, also were backtracking on other unsolved theft cases.
Among those was the December 12, 2011 discovery of a large number missing blu ray TV box sets. Reviewing video from December 8, they observed "JR" and his mother "MR" taking a Playstation 3 and the videos and eventually leaving the store without paying.
On December 15, employees reported seeing two customers leaving the store with a television that still had the "spider wrap" around a TV box when they left the store. The video for that time was reviewed and the persons of interest were identified once again as "JR" and "MR".
Target also took another look at video from December 19, when staff reported finding a number blu ray TV box sets missing. Video showed Friedrichs looking in the blu ray isle, selecting the four missing DVD sets and leaving the store without paying.
On January 4, police also spoke with loss prevention at Scheels. They were watching video of "JR" and "MR" pushing a cart full of $1,352 of merchandise out the store and into River Hills Mall without paying.
After gathering information on the additional thefts, police went to Friedrichs' residence at 212 Emerson Lane to check to make sure she was compliant with her 10 p.m. Drug Court curfew. She was placed under arrest and confirmed that "JR" and "VR" lived with her at the residence.
The owner of the residence consented to a search of the home and police found a pair of Nintendo DS's in "JR's" bedroom. There were believed to have been stolen from Target.
At that time, Friedrichs' told police they needed to pick up "VR" because she was also involved in the thefts.
When "VR" was arrested, she told investigators that "JR" and "MR" were also involved.
Friedrichs is set to make her first court appearance on February 9th.