Costa Mesa woman charged after stealing over $ 300,000 in designer merchandise from SoCal stores: DA


A woman was charged Friday with several felonies for stealing items valued at more than $ 328,000 from Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx stores in Orange County.

Ekatarina Zharkova is accused of stealing goods worth more than $ 300,000. (Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

Ekaterina Zharkova, 38, of Costa Mesa, has been charged with four counts of robbery, one count of receiving stolen property and seven counts of petty theft, said the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in a press release.

Additionally, she has other high profile theft cases in Orange and Los Angeles counties, and is currently wanted under a $ 320,000 warrant after she failed to appear in court. another case of this type on Friday.

Between October 7 and November 23, Zharkova is accused of going to several TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack stores in Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley and Tustin, where she filled empty bags with thousands of dollars of merchandise and is part without paying.

She was arrested on Nov. 23 by the California Highway Patrol’s Organized Retail Theft Task Force after an investigator saw her steal more than $ 3,500 in merchandise from a Nordstrom rack in Costa Mesa.

The California Highway Patrol released this photo of the merchandise it claims was stolen.
CHP posted this photo of the merchandise they claim was stolen.

Investigators followed Zharkova to the store, where they saw her filling a basket with designer items, covering them with a coat before using a device to remove the security sensors, officials said. She would then have left the store without paying for the merchandise.

Zharkova was arrested in her car at the South Coast Mall. Two days later, she posted $ 20,000 bail and was released, according to the prosecutor’s office.

A search warrant was served on the woman’s residence, which was “jam-packed in every room” with stolen goods worth more than $ 328,000, according to the CHP. The items still had their store labels and disabled safety sensors in place.

CHP posted this photo of the woman's car, which also appeared to be filled with allegedly stolen goods.
CHP posted this photo of the woman’s car, which also appeared to be filled with allegedly stolen goods.

Photos released by the agency also showed a vehicle with its front passenger side, rear seat and trunk all filled with cargo.

Investigators say they believe the woman was attempting to resell the stolen items through an online luxury goods consignment store.

“Shoplifting and other retail thefts are out of control across California due to reckless laws that have made the risk far less than the potential reward,” OC District Attorney said , Todd Spitzer, in a press release. “These are not victimless crimes and if you engage in these kinds of outrageous theft schemes, we are going to arrest you, we are going to prosecute you, and we will put you behind bars.”

Zharkova is due to be brought to justice on February 3, 2022. She faces a maximum sentence of nine years and two months if found guilty on all counts in the case, the prosecutor’s office added.


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