Arrests made in 'Panty Raid' investigation

7 suspects arrested in $50K thefts at Victoria's Secret

(Rich Brooks/CNN)

LAKELAND, Fla. – Seven people were arrested after a string of shoplifting thefts reported at Victoria's Secret stores that totaled nearly $50,000, according to officials.

Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives said they were contacted by loss prevention partners from the Victoria's Secret stores located at Lakeside Village in Lakeland and Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales.

Victoria's Secret loss prevention officers documented 26 separate thefts since July at Lakeside Village, and eight at Eagle Ridge Mall, for a combined loss of $50,000, deputies said.

The suspects used "booster bags," commonly used to defeat anti-theft devices normally located on the front doors of the stores. The "booster bags" were in the suspects' possession when they were arrested.  

"It looks like we were able to stop this ‘panty raid' just in time. These suspects traveled here to Polk County to steal from our merchants and meanwhile some of them are collecting government assistance. They clearly haven't gotten the message that we do not tolerate theft of any kind in our county. If you're going to steal, stay out of Polk County," Sheriff Grady Judd said in a release.

Sherrane Williams, 35; Pauline Billups, 42; Tequilla Wilson, 29; Shantheia Conner, 30; Donat Simeus, 31; Sheila Wade, 46 and Janie Waiters, 43, were all arrested on a slew of charges, including grand theft.