Reporting Rachel Slavik
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — A bizarre theft in Bloomington was caught on surveillance video. On New Year’s Eve, Stephanie Moreland was arrested for stealing the jacket from Alaskan Fur Company in Bloomington.
Surveillance video shows that Moreland was in the market for fur coat, she just wasn’t willing to pay for it.
Cameras capture her taking a $6,500 mink coat. She stuffed it up under her skirt seconds before a clerk walked by her. The worker was suspicious and stopped her at the door, but found nothing.
“Somehow, she had modified her underwear and she had basically stuffed it down the front of it, but from the rear it didn’t appear she had anything,” Bloomington Police Commander Mark Stehlik.
The worker wrote down her license plate and called police. The officer saw a coat hanger in Moreland’s vehicle, but didn’t find the coat. Still, they made an arrest.
Three days later, after the holiday weekend, a detective interviewed her about the theft.
“The detective had no idea that it was on her at all,” said Stehlik.
During the interview, she first tried to lie about the mink coat. She told the detective she sold it. She eventually changed her story and tried to use the coat as a way to avoid jail.
“When it became clear to her she was leaving our facility and going to Hennepin County Jail, that’s when she made the decision to take the coat out and give it to him,” said Stehlik.
Moreland pulled the coat from her underpants and told the detective how she was able to walk out of the store.
“I’ll tell you why they didn’t check me. Because, you want to see the video and I had pulled my pants down and they said ‘You don’t have on panties,’” said Moreland, as she was questioned by the detective.
Moreland is now serving nearly two years in jail for a crime police will remember for far longer.
“I’ve never seen anything quite like this,” said Stehlik.
Police said that part of the reason Moreland was able to hide the coat is because she is a large woman. A female officer wasn’t available during the arrest and it was against protocol for a male officer to perform a full search.