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Woman Charged with Felony Retail Theft following Alleged Fraudulent Returns

Police say she netted thousands in false returns at the Plymouth Meeting Lowe's.

A Sharon Hill, Pa. woman is facing dozens of charges, including felony theft, after Plymouth police say she received more than $2,600 in gift cards from fraudulent returns made at the Plymouth Meeting Lowe's.

According to police, Tina Barklow, 46, of Garvin Boulevard, Sharon Hill, entered the store on at least seven occasions and took items from the floor before later returning them to customer service in exchange for gift cards. Police suspect Barklow first entered the store on June 19, 2012, when security cameras allegedly captured her taking a light fixture from the sales floor and returning it to customer service for $179.14 in gift cards.

She would next appear with an adult male on August 22, when security cameras allegedly captured her placing two faucets into a shopping cart, which the male then returned for $373.12 in merchandise cards. Barklow returned to the store five times within the following month, each time carrying out a similar scheme, often with a second individual returning the items, police said.

After the store’s loss prevention officer contacted police, they were able to identify one of the individuals who entered and left the store with Barklow. According to police, the individual said that Barklow asked her to return the faucets for her, because she "could not use her identification card."

On Monday, Oct. 15, police spoke to Barklow, who allegedly admitted to the scheme but said that the individuals involved did not know what she was doing. Barklow also told police that she was committing the thefts because she was "out of work and needed money," a report said.

According to police, Barklow has at least three prior convictions for retail theft. She was released on $5,000 bail and faces a preliminary hearing before magisterial justice Francis Bernhardt on Oct. 26.

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