A 45-year-old Overland Park woman has been arrested as a result of a large-scale theft investigation.
Overland Park police say they have been searching her home in the 13700 block of Horton Drive, just off 135th Street between Nall and Lamar avenues, since Wednesday.
Kelli Jo Bauer is in custody. She lives in the home with her husband and children according to neighbors. She was arrested for shoplifting, but investigators anticipate charges of felony theft by the Johnson County District Attorney's Office.
Detectives said they had Bauer under surveillance and arrested her Wednesday for shoplifting. They stopped short of saying she was caught in the act, but they were able to get a search warrant for the home.
Police wouldn't say where the shoplifting happened.
So far, detectives have removed more than a dozen carloads full of evidence over the past two days. Those items include everything from clothing to home goods.
"Most of it is consumer goods. At this point, we are just trying to find out who the owner of the property is to verify it's stolen goods," Officer Richard Breshears said.
Bauer had advertised that she sold "high-end women's clothes" on a members-only “Johnson County Swap N Shop” Facebook page. She said she had more than 1,000 pieces of women's clothing in all sizes by a variety of name designers. She said potential sellers should make an appointment and bring cash only and no "large purses, just billfolds."
Bauer is also the owner of an online boutique selling custom baby clothes. KCTV5 called and emailed, but got no answer.
In 2007, Bauer was charged with two counts of felony theft that was dropped to a misdemeanor with a guilty plea in 2008 to criminal deprivation of property. She was again arrested for misdemeanor theft in 2013 and prosecutors obtained a conviction in that case when she pled guilty.
A search of public records shows that the five-bedroom, 5.5-bath house is 4,600-square-feet in size and valued at more than $900,000. Its size makes trying to figure out what might've been stolen challenging.
Some people posted on KCTV5's Facebook page that they hope their stolen goods are found as a result of the investigation.
"I'm excited because I hope some of my things are in there," said Zoe Herrington, who is a neighbor of Bauer's and owner of Noble House Jewelry.
Two years ago, Herrington had hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of designer clothes, hand bags, jewelry and other items stolen from her home.
"I had over 120 designer purses and designer clothes and I am praying that some of my stuff is in that garage over there," Herrington said.
A Lee's Summit man was indicted in Jackson County after investigators found that GPS tracking devices had been placed on Herrington's vehicles.
According to court records, items stolen from Herrington's home were found in a storage unit belonging to the Lee's Summit man. Steven A. Glaze, 39, said he did not steal the items and bought the items from someone else.
Herrington hopes that police will determine whether her stolen items are related to Bauer.
"We are convinced it's part of a large ring," she said about her stolen items. "Absolutely convinced."
The investigation will take some time, Breshears said.
"It's going to take weeks before we can find out the total amount that comes out of this," he said.
KCTV5's Laura McCallister contributed to this report.
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