OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – A woman stole more than $100,000 worth of women's clothing and merchandise, which she was selling out of her nearly $1 million home in a Kansas City suburb, authorities allege.
Kelli Jo Bauer, 45, was arrested earlier this month after officers intrigued by a Facebook post advertising the private sale of more than 1,000 pieces of "high-end" women's clothing went undercover to her $900,000 home in an upscale Overland Park development, according to newly released documents filed in Johnson County District Court, where Bauer faces a single theft charge. Defense attorney Scott Gyllenborg didn't immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment on the allegations.
Bauer, who is on house arrest as a condition of bond, is accused of showing officers clothes — many with tags still on them — hanging on a rack and folded on a bed in an upstairs bedroom, The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/1OCn9kw) reports. Court documents say she told the officers there was more merchandise downstairs, including an "arm full" of purses she showed them.
Bauer told the officers that she was selling the items because she was a "compulsive shopper" and had lost weight, the court documents said. The officers bought several items, including what Bauer said was a fake Louis Vuitton bag for $50.
Detectives who began following Bauer said they saw her stealing items from several stores. After Bauer's arrest, police spent two days searching her home and officers continue cataloguing the items they seized.
State records show Bauer operates an online retail business named My Retro Baby. The site advertises everything from a $325 diaper bag to a $38 hooded baby robe.
During her first court appearance earlier this month, Bauer was ordered to follow mental health recommendations, including the taking of prescribed medication. Court records show Bauer was charged in 2007 with stealing clothing and other merchandise from three stores within 72 hours and in 2013 with stealing clothing from a retailer.
In the 2007 case, she pleaded guilty to two reduced charges of misdemeanor criminal deprivation of property and was placed on probation, according to court records. As a condition of probation, she was required to serve seven days in jail and receive mental health treatment, records show. She was again placed on probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge in the 2013 case.
Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com