SHERMAN - If you've ever priced an iPad, you know how much they cost. The new models run $800.
But one "iThief" is tearing through North Texas, stealing dozens of tablets. The woman has hit 36 cities in North Texas, stealing iPads from 28 Wal-Mart stores and eight Target stores. She has stolen more than 100 iPads.
She usually strikes in the early hours of the morning. Police say she does the same thing every time, leaving groceries at the counter and walking out of the store with two or three iPads.
Her latest hit came last week at a Sherman Wal-Mart. The surveillance video shows how it happened.
The woman fills up a shopping cart with groceries. She then goes back to the electronics department and says she wants to buy three iPads. A worker then takes her to checkout.
“As they ring those iPads up, she takes that time to slip those iPads into a tote bag similar to a book bag," said Sgt. Bruce Dawsey, Sherman Police Department spokesman.
The cashier scans the iPads, and places them in a bag. As the cashier focuses on scanning items, the shoplifter places the iPads in the bag she brought into the store.
“She tells the clerk she needs to get the rest of the money," Dawsey said. "She goes outside and doesn't come back in."
Other surveillance video, from the McKinney Wal-Mart on Custer Road, shows her slipping a plastic grocery bag with two iPads into her canvas tote. This time, police say she told the clerk she was going back for two DVDs. The store's cameras caught her walking out and leaving in a black car.
The same woman is wanted in crimes all over North Texas and Oklahoma, from Ardmore to the north, to Sherman and Collin County cities like Plano, McKinney and Allen. She has also struck in Rockwall and Terrell, in Lewisville and Denton and in Cedar Hill and Corsicana.
Police say she has stolen $57,000 worth of iPads.
“For her to be successful in this number of thefts, she has discovered a way to beat the system," the police spokesman said.
And that's why police made finding this woman a priority.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Rob Ballew with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Sherman Police Department at 903-892-7246.