4 thieves loot 9 Ulta stores for $27,224 of perfume


Four thieves looted 9 Ulta stores in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa and stole $27,224 of high-end perfume. Thanks to surveillance footage, Facebook and an identifiable hat, they've been identified.

None of the thieves are Minnesota residents, but Mercedes D. Hardwick, 25, of Milwaukee was recently charged with theft at the Woodbury, Minn. location.

How they did it

According to a criminal complaint, in February, Hardwick, Selwyn Gerard Smith, Travis Antoine Arrington and Menique Jeanelle Hardy, all in their 20s, went into the Ulta at Tamarack Village and filled the store-offered reusable shopping bags with 104 bottles of perfume worth about $7,341 in just two minutes. They sprinted out the front door into a white Toyota Prius.

Thanks, Facebook

Surveillance footage from the Woodbury store lined up with Smith and Arrington's past mug shots and Facebook photos. Arrington also wore a hat, which was recognized in his Facebook photos. He also tried to sell perfume and cologne on his Facebook page on Feb. 17.

Hardwick and Hardy were identified by Ulta employees. Hardwick had been arrested in Milwaukee, Hardy in Madison, for other thefts. Surveillance footage also matched their booking and Facebook photos. Plus, they're Facebook friends with someone who apparently owns a white Toyota Prius, with photos plastered on Facebook.

Warrants are out for Smith, Arrington, Hardwick and Hardy's arrest.

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