Allison Cole and Christopher Washington

After a theft Sept. 7 regarding three clothing garments, Karisma clothing store, located on High Street, is asking Miami University students to help catch the thief.

Oxford Police reports state that the thief is female, blonde, approximately 5 foot 8 inches tall and 120 pounds. She was also carrying a white Chanel bag at the time of the theft, and reportedly took three items of clothing.

According to Karisma manager Nick Christen, the store believes the thief is a student, though they cannot be sure.

“We feel wronged and are trying to make it right the ways we know how,” Christen said.

Christen said Karisma is utilizing several tactics, including being in close contact with the Oxford Police Department (OPD) and Miami security.

Sgt. Jim Squance of the Oxford Police Department said police are relying on assistance from the community to help identify the perpetrator.

“We’re doing our best to identify her and right now we need help from the public because we have a pretty good picture of her on video and we’re asking people to call us and tell us who she is,” Squance said.

In addition, Karisma management has posted the security video of the incident on Youtube.com. Christen calls this effort an innovative tactic and hopes that it helps get the word out about the incident.

“We’d like to catch her,” Christen said. “We’d love for people to know that we don’t tolerate this.”

If caught, the female responsible for the missing clothing would receive a first-degree misdemeanor on her permanent record as well as a potential $1,000 fine with one year in jail.

However, Karisma is offering a free pair of jeans for any information that leads to the female’s identity.

According to Christen, some people have responded to publicity about the theft, and he hopes someone will see the tape and recognize the female.

Christen added that Karisma has never experienced any major theft problems before this incident, and the store wants to make sure it never happens again.

To take action in hopes of preventing something like this in the future, Christen said, Karisma is employing a new policy. All customers who enter the store must now leave their bag(s) in a bag drop area, monitored by Karisma staff.

According to Squance, theft is an issue that affects everyone, but more specifically, he said smaller businesses like Karisma are affected more drastically.

“I think it’s an issue for the merchants,” Squance said. “(Smaller businesses) don’t have a lot of leeway when it comes to loss prevention and stolen items. The only resource they can throw at it is a video system. I think they do their best to try to alleviate shoplifting, but it’s a hard thing to catch.”

But regardless, Squance said he believes the public will provide assistance because money is sometimes a positive incentive.

“I think people tend to do the right thing if they know of somebody that’s involved,” Squance said. “A reward might be an incentive. I have confidence that if people get this picture of this individual and they know who she is, they may come forward.”

But even with the possibility of the female being caught, Christen said this incident is not one Karisma will forget anytime soon.

“We take this personally,” he said. “We will make this right.”

Christen said anyone with information regarding the female’s identity should contact Karisma and speak with the owner Jim Eveslage.

Karisma is searching for the identity of the blonde female (above) in connection with a theft at the store.

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