Woman charged in thefts of $1.5M worth of Hobby Lobby merchandise

Posted June 13, 2013 4:17 pm | Filed under Crime and Courts, Featured, Local News

Marie Steele aka Marie Vera

A Fort Mill woman is charged in the theft of more than a million dollars worth of merchandise from Hobby Lobby Stores across the Carolinas.

On Tuesday, a loss prevention employee at the chain’s Rock Hill store recognized 58-year-old Marie Steele in the store from a Be On the Lookout order issued by the company’s loss prevention headquarters.

The employee followed her outside the store to a nearby restaurant where she disposed of $475 in allegedly stolen goods in a restroom trash can.

Steele hopped in a white Jeep before police arrived.

Later that afternoon, authorities in Rock Hill contacted detectives in Mooresville matched Steele’s description and alleged thefts to an alias she was using, Marie Vera, and arrested her at her Lancaster County home.

Investigators say Steele shoplifted $480,000 in goods that were worth $1.5 million to the store over two years in both North and South Carolina.

Rock Hill Police spokesman Mark Bollinger said Steele was selling the stolen merchandise on eBay.

In Rock Hill, Steele is charged with Shoplifting 1st offense. In North Carolina, Bollinger said she will face felony Grand Larceny charges in Mecklenburg County, Gaston County and the Town of Mooresville.