OLATHE, Kan. – An affluent suburban Kansas City woman with a history of shoplifting was sentenced Friday to a year and seven months in prison for her thefts of tens of thousands dollars of items, often peddled out of her nearly $1 million home.
Kelli Jo Bauer, 47 and of Overland Park, Kansas, was also ordered in Kansas' Johnson County to pay more than $22,000 in restitution to merchants.
Bauer had two prior Johnson County theft convictions when she was charged in 2015 with felony theft. That prosecution came after police found stolen merchandise in her home during a search prompted by her Facebook posting for the private sale of more than 1,000 pieces of "high-end" women's clothing.
Bauer showed undercover officers clothes — many with tags still on them — hanging on a rack and folded on a bed in an upstairs bedroom, according to court records. 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.
As part of the investigation, detectives also followed Bauer and said they saw her stealing items from several stores.
Bauer later pleaded guilty in that case to a felony theft count that alleged she stole between $25,000 and $100,000. A day before she was to be sentenced last November, she was charged again after stealing bras from a Lenexa department store.
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, court records show. She was required to serve seven days in jail and receive mental health treatment as a condition of probation.
She was again placed on probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge in the 2013 case.