Monday, June 25, 2018
Public safety

Woman accused in thefts worth $2,500 from Hillsborough malls

TAMPA — A surveillance operation at several malls within the last two weeks led to the arrest of one woman, accused of stealing items from 17 stores, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies conducted surveillance at several malls within Hillsborough, including International Plaza and Westfield Citrus Park. Deputies launched the operation to monitor organized retail theft groups known for stealing high-end clothing and perfumes from malls.

During the operation, they spotted Toccara Huff, 31, taking more than $2,500 worth of stolen merchandise from three malls. Deputies recovered the items during a traffic stop.

Huff has used "antitheft detection removal equipment" and "distraction accomplices" to steal from stores in the past, the Sheriff's Office said.

Huff would then resell the property at hair salons along Hillsborough Avenue. She was previously arrested for retail theft in Tampa and Clearwater and was out on bail during Tuesday's arrest. The Sheriff's Office considers her a "habitual violent felony offender" with several convictions related to retail theft.

Huff faces charges of felony petit theft and driving with a revoked or suspended license.

She was booked into the Hillsborough County jail and released Wednesday in lieu of $2,250 bail.

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