In Connecticut, Professional Shoplifters Stopped

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) - Two women described by police as professional shoplifters stole nearly $8,000 worth of clothes, including 228 pairs of thong underwear, police said.

The two were stopped Thursday after running a red light in downtown Fairfield.

Officer Felix Esposito searched the car and found more than 400 items of clothing allegedly taken from Victoria's Secret, Ann Taylor Loft, The Gap and Banana Republic. The clothes still had tags on them.

Police said they found bikini tops and bottoms, maternity dresses, maternity tops, corsets, women's tops, button-down shirts and a cashmere sweater.

Arrested were Monica Barbosa, 32, of Queens, N.Y., and Anparo Cruz, 43, of Stamford. They were charged with second-degree larceny and possession of a shoplifting device.

Police say they had a device called a booster bag that allowed them to take clothes out of stores without activating magnetic sensors designed to deter theft.

The women were held overnight and appeared Friday in Bridgeport Superior Court, where their bonds were set at $50,000 for Cruz and $25,000 for Barbosa.

Detective Sgt. Gene Palazzolo said the two have also been arrested for shoplifting in Florida.

He said none of the storeowners were aware the clothes were missing until police contacted them.