OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — An Overland Park woman who pleaded guilty to theft in January learned her fate Friday for the crimes she committed in the Spring of 2015 and then again in November 2016.
Kelli Jo Bauer, 47, was sentenced to 19 months in prison without probation. She will also have to pay $22,000 in restitution.
Bauer pleaded guilty on Thursday, Jan. 26 in Johnson County to stealing from Kohl’s department store, 12381 W. 95th Street in Lenexa. Kohl’s loss prevention officer reported to police that a woman he later identified as Bauer, selected several bras, put them in a Kohl’s bag and took them into the dressing room. Then she stopped at customer service and a Kohl’s employee exchanged the bras without the receipts on the items. Bauer then left the store without paying for five bras with a value of $178.
Prior to this incident at Kohl’s, Bauer was charged with one count of felony theft of goods after police found a large volume of stolen goods inside her home in the Spring of 2015. Originally charged with theft of goods over $100,000, that charge was amended to theft of goods valued between $25,000 and $100,000. She also pleaded guilty to two lesser theft charges of $1,000 in stolen goods. Authorities say Bauer stole items and then sold them on Facebook swap-and-shops or through her online store “My Retro Baby, LLC.”
Police began investigating Bauer after they received information that she was advertising the sale of high-end women’s clothing on Facebook swap-and-shop sites. They say they had been watching her activity for a while. Then, after arresting her for shoplifting, police obtained a search warrant for her home in the 13700 block of Horton Drive.
In the affidavit leading to her arrest, police said they contacted Bauer in response to an advertisement on Facebook for the sale of high-end women’s clothing. When they went to Bauer’s home, she showed them her merchandise in an upstairs bedroom. The bedroom contained a clothing rack, similar to one found in department stores, detectives said. Bauer reportedly told them she was a compulsive shopper and told them the reason she was selling the items was because she had lost weight.
Police say many of the items were sized small and medium and still contained stickers and price tags from the stores. In addition to the clothing, she also brought up an arm full of purses.