Woman sentenced to 10 years in prison for her role in international shoplifting ring

Four other suspects still awaiting trial


July 01--SAN ANTONIO -- One of the five women arrested last summer on charges they operated an international theft ring based in San Antonio was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison -- the maximum allowed under a plea agreement.

Eva Salazar, 49, was also ordered by state District Judge Ray Olivarri to pay $111,222 in restitution to Victoria's Secret for merchandise that was recovered from a storage unit but couldn't be resold by the retailer because of the presence of "rat droppings," court files indicate.

Salazar was arrested alongside Emily Garcia, Cassandra Arenas, Piedad Perez and Christian Salazar after San Antonio police conducted a monthlong investigation of the group involving high-end retailers such as Williams-Sonoma, Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Vera Bradley and Abercrombie & Fitch. They would enter the stores with large bags, which they'd fill with merchandise before fleeing, authorities said.

Salazar, whose arrest record dating to 1985 includes 13 misdemeanor convictions and eight felony convictions, pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony charge last month.

She told authorities, however, that she deserved probation "because I didn't have nothing to do with this."

"I was in the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.

The other four suspects still are awaiting trial.

mcasady@express-news.net

Copyright 2014 - San Antonio Express-News