Police Arrest Former Nordstrom Employee in Connection With $165,000 Theft From Retailer

Police have arrested a former Nordstrom employee in connection with a theft at the department store retailer, marking the latest incident in a surge of retail crime incidents across the U.S.

A detective in Lynwood, Wash. on Friday concluded an investigation into a theft that totaled about $165,000 and took place over a one-month period in Nordstrom stores in Lynnwood, Seattle, Tukwila, and Scottsdale, Ariz., according to a Friday release.

Detectives arrested an 18-year-old old suspect from Issaquah who had worked at Nordstrom in 2021 and charged her with theft. The investigation revealed that the suspect created fake returns on Nordstrom cash registers and put the money into active bank accounts.

“This is a large amount of money,” Lynwood detective Hammersmith said in a statement. “One of the highest I have encountered at Lynnwood.”

FN has reached out to Nordstrom for a comment.

This incident marks the latest Nordstrom location to face a theft from a former or current employee. In May, two Nordstrom employees were arrested in connection with a theft at the Minnetonka, Minn. department store that employed them after police recovered $400,000 in stolen goods.

Other retailers have experienced similar issues as retail crime surges. Just last week, Target said retail shrink — or when stores have fewer products than recorded in inventory books — has intensified in certain geographies, largely driven by retail crime. This shrink has reduced the company’s gross margin by $400 million year-to-date and could grow to a $600 million impact by the end of the year.

Rite Aid in September noted a $5 million headwind from shrink, mainly in its New York urban stores.

Retail crime has been especially problematic in California. Last month, Cotopaxi closed its San Francisco store after a stream of smash and grab thefts hit the store since it opened a year ago.

To combat the issue, the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) Consumers Act, which works to help inform consumers about this illicit activity and helps law enforcement target criminals who sell high volumes of stolen merchandise on e-commerce marketplaces. The Act is currently awaiting approval in the Senate.

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