Three Troy University students have been accused of shoplifting from at least five different stores on the square in Troy.
A source said one of the women felt guilty and called her mother, who persuaded her daughter and at least one other woman to return stolen items and apologize to the businesses.
The women stole merchandise from Posh & P Boutique, Hazel’s Gifts & Engraving, The Pink Parlor Boutique, The Confetti Crate and Glow, according to owners or employees in all five stores. The accused women later returned items, in varying conditions, on Tuesday, Aug. 22, according to an employee at The Pink Parlor.
One business owner has banned the women from her location indefinitely.
“It’s really sad that these young girls are stealing,” said Marley Park, owner of The Confetti Crate. “They just got caught; it’s sad.
“These are small businesses, and these people are just trying to put food on the table.”
Park said the women returned the items they stole from her store — not all in person — but the clothes had been used and cannot be resold. She said one of the women stole a shirt with a religious connotation, which read “Not today, Satan” across the front.
Park was able to identify the women with videotape evidence. She said she has turned in the evidence to the store’s information technology personnel and, upon review, may press criminal charges against one or more of the women.
Park said she was given information about a fourth suspect involved in the thefts, but will know more after the evidence is reviewed.
The owner of Hazel’s Gifts & Engraving had a different perspective after the women returned items they stole or called the store to pay for them over the phone.
“I just think they’re young and got caught up in something,” said Lindsay Darnell. “I’m forgiving.
“I hope they learned their lesson. I think they have.”
Owners or employees of the other three stores declined to comment, but did say that the women stole merchandise from their locations.
The incidents occurred after sorority recruitment, during which the women reportedly accepted bids to two sororities.
Social media posts and individuals said two of the women had recently accepted a bid to Chi Omega sorority, and the other one had recently accepted a bid from Phi Mu Fraternity. It is not clear whether they are still members.
Troy University’s Chi-O president, Mallory Jones, could not be reached for comment or information. The president of Troy’s Phi Mu, Victoria Killingsworth, declined to discuss the situation.
Killingsworth referred the Tropolitan to the director of communications at Phi Mu Fraternity’s national headquarters, Jackie Isaacson, who could not be reached.
Barbara Patterson, the university’s PanHellenic adviser and director of student involvement, said her office was notified of the incidents via phone calls and social media. Her office then contacted the leadership of the sororities involved.
“Each sorority has different disciplinary processes, so each sorority would have taken the appropriate disciplinary process that their chapter leadership felt was correct,” Patterson said. “There’s not, like, a cut and dry like everybody had to do the exact same thing.”
Patterson declined to confirm the identities of the women or sororities involved.
“I think these young women deserve a little bit of privacy,” she said.
The mother of one woman called at least three stores her daughter stole from and apologized on behalf of her daughter, according to the owners of Hazel’s and Confetti Crate and an employee from The Pink Parlor.
At The Pink Parlor, some women left a note along with the returned jewelry: “We are very sorry. We took these items and we regret it so much. This is not who we are. We will pay back anything needed.”
The Tropolitan sent Facebook messages to the three women who were identified by a store owner. Two declined to comment, and the other never responded.
The Tropolitan also contacted Troy Police Chief Randall Barr, who said he had no knowledge of a pending case but would check on it and call the Tropolitan back. However, he had not called by late Wednesday and could not be reached.