Cracking down on a suspected mastermind behind a string of high-end retail heists, Brentwood cops have collared a 39-year-old woman and a Contra Costa County judge has thrown the book at her, beefing up her bail to half a mil. In a series of thefts that spanned since last August and left businesses including Sunglass Hut and Victoria's Secret lighter by about $90,000, Latalia Smith of Bay Point was nabbed thanks to some sharp detective work and a little help from the stores' employees, according to the Brentwood Police Department.
Smith, initially slapped with a $250,000 bail, saw her ticket out of the clink skyrocket to $500,000. The increase came after a judge eyeballed the severity of the charges against her—they run the gamut from organized retail theft to robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime, among others. The lawmen hit Smith with these hefty charges after piecing together clues that put her at the center of the retail rip-off spree.
The beefed-up bail ensures Smith stays put behind bars while the wheels of justice slowly grind on, her future uncertain as she faces a slew of charges that could slap her with some serious time. This decision by the judge sends a clear message that organized retail theft is no small-time operation, and the courts are not playing when it comes to cracking down.