Woman Accused of Stealing Fur Coats to Support Heroin Habit

Police say they busted a woman with thousands of dollars' worth of stolen clothing after she made off with a $3,500 mink coat from a Delaware County store.

Police arrested Tamala Lee Tucker after they found six trash bags full of clothing and she admitted to them that she planned on selling the garments to support her heroin addiction, according to an affidavit.

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Radnor Township Police Department
Tamala Tucker

Officers were led to Tucker after she went to a Jacques Ferber Furs store in Wayne and walked out with a mink coat stuffed underneath her dress, Radnor Township Police Department Sgt. Dan Lunger said.

According to store owner Pamela Ferber, the shop was in the middle of an end-of-the-season sale when Tucker and two other women walked in.

"I know my inventory really well and I looked over and I could see a piece was not there," Ferber said.

Growing suspicious, she walked over to the women and told them she knew they'd taken something, which is when they scurried out the door, Ferber said. Ferber went outside and managed to get a vehicle description and partial license plate.

A few minutes later, police spotted the SUV and brought Ferber over, the affidavit said. Ferber positively identified the women, which is when Tucker supposedly admitted that the coat was in the back seat.

At that point, officers spotted the trash bags full of clothes with tinfoil wrapped around the security tags, according to the document. Other fur jackets worth thousands of dollars were found among the 37 pieces of recovered clothing, Lunger said.

"I saw [police] lift the hatch of their vehicle and there were other plastic bags full of things, just like my coat was in a plastic bag, and realized wow, they've had a busy day," Ferber said.

Tucker told police she had received at least some of the clothes from an acquaintance in Baltimore, Maryland and planned to "get rid" of them to get cash for her heroin habit, the affidavit said.

Her alleged shoplifting spree may span at least three states, including Maryland, Delaware and the Delaware County area of Pennsylvania, Lunger said. "Spanning several states, stealing items, possibly taking possession of stolen items to support a heroin habit, it's something that draws your attention for sure," he said.

Police hope others come forward to see if any of their items were stolen. The two other women who were with Tucker at the time of the arrest have not been charged with any crime.

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