THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles pediatrician and her husband face grand theft and conspiracy charges for allegedly working together in a string of thefts at local Target stores.
Authorities say Dr. Elizabeth and David Hooper fraudulently manufactured bar codes and affixed them to items of greater value at Target stores located in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, and Woodland Hills starting in January.
Target loss prevention officers worked with detectives and gathered evidence showing the Hoopers completed the thefts by using self-checkout lanes to pay for items using the fraudulent bar codes, according to a Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson.
The couple stole nearly $2,400 worth of merchandise using the method, officials said.
A search warrant was served April 26 at the Hooper’s home in Thousand Oaks, where detectives say they found evidence of the fraudulent bar code manufacturing as well as several pieces of stolen Target merchandise.
Neighbors would not talk to CBS2 News on camera, but one person said the Hoopers were nice people and that they were surprised by the allegations.
“Typically, someone who’s a doctor or pediatrician, you expect to have good, sound judgment, be a rational, intelligent individual, and in some aspects, she is very intelligent,” Ventura Sheriff’s Det. Ted Sterns told CBS2. “They devised a pretty sophisticated plan to steal items that worked for some time.”
Sterns added that this was not the first time the pediatrician has been arrested for stealing. Hooper has been charged for a petty theft in Los Angeles and has a grand theft charge out of Massachusetts.
Elizabeth Hooper was at home when the warrant was served and was arrested and booked into the Ventura County jail. Her husband David, a local musician, met with detectives on April 30 and was taken into custody.
Both were out on $20,000 bail Wednesday.