Two Bay Area women spent Mother’s Day on a shoplighting spree in Sonoma County, stealing nearly $11,000 in items from at least seven pharmacies and grocery stores, according to Santa Rosa police.
Markia Silva, 23, of Oakland was arrested Sunday after police were called about a theft at the Safeway on Calistoga Road — just minutes after a similar call came in from workers at the CVS on Fourth Street, Sgt. Dan Hackett said Monday.
A second woman, identified by police as Akasia Palmore, 20, of Hayward, is being sought. Palmore had recently been released from custody in another county and was out on bail, Hackett said.
Some of the stolen goods were traced back to stores in several Sonoma County cities, authorities said.
Police suspect the pair went to stores in Santa Rosa, Windsor, Healdsburg and Rohnert Park, taking hundreds of items including baby formula, medicine, cosmetics and personal-hygiene products.
“At CVS they went in with some type of beach bag ... a big bag,” Hackett said. “They would walk in, load their bags up and walk right out.”
Santa Rosa CVS employees called police at 2:38 p.m. to say two women had walked out of the store with baby formula and teeth whitening strips without paying. They gave officers a description of the women and their car.
Less than 10 minutes later, the Safeway employees called, reporting virtually the same crime by two women.
Police suspect Palmore drove away from the store, then parked the car and fled. Silva was on foot in the area when she was stopped, Hackett said.
Officers found the car, which Hackett said was full of large garbage bags containing stolen items.
There were so many items recovered that officers spread them out in the Santa Rosa police station parking lot to do an inventory.
Hackett said among the piles he saw 30-40 boxes of Rogaine hair products, about 15 boxes of teeth whitening strips and about 50 cannisters of baby formula.
Officers returned many of the items to stores after spending hours developing a detailed list of merchandise, he said.
Many of the items sold for about $50 each, and the total theft amount was just shy of $11,000, he said.
Hackett said such items often can be found for sale on online sites for a discount, an indication they were stolen.
Silva was arrested on felony suspicion of commercial burglary and conspiracy. She remained in the Sonoma County Jail Monday in lieu of $81,000 bail.
A $2,500 reward from the Sonoma County Alliance will be given for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Palmore, police said.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter@rossmannreport.