A husband and wife from Newbury Park will be in court this week to answer to allegations they stole $2,400 worth of merchandise from Target stores in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Woodland Hills.
According to police, David and Elizabeth Hooper manufactured barcodes and affixed them to items of greater value. The couple would then use self-checkout lanes to surreptitiously pay for the items at a large discount, police said.
“They went to the stores multiple times,” said Detective Ted Stern of the Thousand Oaks Police Department. “Without going too far into it, they used their personal vehicle to come and go, and I was able to identify them from pictures.”
Elizabeth Hooper, also known as Elizabeth Jenkins, works as a pediatrician in Los Angeles; her husband is a professional musician.
Stern said local investigators working with Target lossprevention staff found evidence that the Hoopers’ plot dates back to January.
Elizabeth Hooper was arrested July 26 at the couple’s home on Lander Court. A search of the residence produced evidence of the fraudulent barcode manufacturing as well as several items stolen from Target, police said.
David Hooper, who was not in the state at the time, was arrested April 30 after agreeing to speak with detectives at the East County sheriff’s station.
Barcode crimes like those the Hoopers are accused of are not common, Stern said.
“It’s pretty rare, an atypical way to go about theft,” the detective said, adding he was surprised, especially because one of the suspects is a doctor.
The Hoopers are each charged with one count of grand theft and one count of criminal conspiracy, according to court records. They’re both free on bail.
Elizabeth Hooper was due in court for her arraignment May 9. David Hooper is required to appear May 14.