Last Updated: 3 p.m.
Pauline Flores, the 42-year-old owner of Realty Central, the real estate firm in Palm Coast, was arrested and charged with shoplifting at Kohl’s on Sept. 28. The State Attorney’s Office followed up by filing its information, or intention to prosecute, on Oct. 8.
Real estate brokers have a pass key that gives them access to all MLS listings, and generally have access to clients’ personal information and escrow accounts. Rental managers have access to rental units, including rented units, when preceded by proper notification.
Matt Rice, a store employee, told Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies he observed Flores “take pieces of merchandise out of their packaging and conceal them within other packages which were then paid for,” according to Flores’s arrest report. He used the store’s surveillance cameras to confirm that Flores had walked around the store several minutes, taken silicone bra pads out of their package and allegedly dissimulated them in a mattress topper she then paid for. She had also allegedly taken lip gloss from one package and placed it in a less expensive make-up package she then paid for.
Rice followed her in the parking lot and found the hidden items, valued at $33. Kohl’s wished to pursue charges, and Flores was booked at the Flagler County jail, posting bail on $500 bond.
Flores is vehemently contesting the charge. “I would never take anything in my life,” she said, saying the charge makes no sense, for $33, when she had spent $197.86 that day at the store, and $284.23 the day before. She said today in an interview that she was held two hours by the loss-prevention officer in what she termed as false imprisonment. “I begged them to call the police” she said, but Rice was attempting to have her sign a confession, which she said she would not do because “I did not steal anything.” As she was being held, she claims Rice called her racial and sexist slurs (“dumb spic,” “bitch”) and other names.
Rice, 28, could not be reached at the Palm Coast store. An employee there said he was out of the building this afternoon, but that “we as associates are not allowed to speak with any press.” Kohl’s public affairs office was also contacted and asked for comment but did not respond.
Flores, a resident of Burnell Drive in Palm Coast, has been a licensed real estate broker since 2006, according to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, with no recorded complaints over her license in that time span. She has one current listing in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and operates as a rental manager. She says she’s been in the community since 1990, has volunteered at Teen Court and the Family Life Center and built a business she would not jeopardize.
Her attorney, Daniel Leising, has filed a series of motions in the case ahead of a Nov. 6 arraignment. Flores says she’s already spent $5,000 to clear her name. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Robert Pickens.
Flores is not required to report the misdemeanor charge to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. She would be required to do so only if the charge leads to a conviction.
Mary Fusco says
How sad for $33 a person would ruin their career and reputation. People think that they are so slick but they are not slick enough to know that there are cameras all over retail stores. Just because you don’t “see” security, doesn’t mean they are not there. I worked in retail 25 years ago and the store, which was upscale, had a wall of cameras in the security room which were monitored constantly. Can’t tell you how many times an associate on the floor would have a call from security telling them to watch someone and before long bingo, security was on them like white on rice.
Kleptomaniac! , smh someone with a job is stealing bra pads? The only thing worse than a lie is a thief. This isn’t a child stealing for the first time, this is an adult that is way beyond knowing right from wrong.
No money in the real estate game @ only 6% commission.
Really ? All this for $33 of bra pads. Something about this doesn’t “measure up” !
Life in the Coaster, cant make it up SMH stupidity. Cameras are everywhere ….. geez
Why would someone call her a “spic” when that is her married name and she is quite white, and pretty sure she’s not if Spanish descent.
One Drop says
@ Anonymous “she is quite white” please do tell us what color are people from Spain? I’m from Italian descent not Latin and have been called spic. It seems White is a culture not a race when convenient.
anonymous, do you believe everything you read o the internet? or better yet to you believe everyone and what they say after being charged in a crime?
@Anonymous. You cant tell if someone is of hispanic decent by the shade of their skin. You can be light to dark and everything in between. Straight hair, curly hair. Blue eyes, brown eyes. You just cant look at people and assume.
Well if there’s camera footage, there’s nothing to talk about.
Couldn’t she just get a side boyfriend to pay for some personal expenses?
$5000 to clear her name. A boob job would have cost less than stealing silicone bra pads.
Willy Boy says
As for color – it would appear to be “red-handed”.
The amount of secondary gain ($33.00) does not add up as a risk worth taking that would destoy her unblemished reputation. I’m not saying that rich folks don’t steal, the proportion is just not there.
Is it more of the thrill than the value ? More of kleptomania than theft ? Again I’m not making a conclusion here but if clear enough, the video doesn’t lie.
Manny her record is not unblemished. She was arrested for domestic abuse A little while back
carol- if her name was Joy it would be expected not every women needs a man to pay for there personal expenses
After spending 23 years in retail, and 17 of that in management positions, there is a lot not right with this story on Kohl’s side. It is not typical for a person spending over $400 in 2 days to steal or change packages to get lower prices. It is also not a suggested practice to follow customers to parking lots, detain them for hours, and have a clerk vs a loss prevention associate question a suspected shoplifter. In fact, I don’t know of any Loss Prevention training or best practices that does not teach 1) You do not have employees follow people outside for safety reasons, 2) You never detain someone for hours without their consent as it can be interpreted as false imprisonment 3) It’s prevention, not apprehension. Therefor the best approach is providing great customer service to remedy the situation without accusing “I’m sorry we think you may have accidentally put the wrong product in the wrong package when you were shopping. Let’s get you the correct packaging so you don’t have an issue if you need to do a return later.”
Kohl’s has been put in a very bad situation in this instance if you ask me. The loss prevention associate should be let go, the clerk should be let go, and the store manager put under the microscope.
I feel bad for Pauline Flores she because she has been put through a lot of embarrassment and shame here painted as guilty until she proves her innocence which is contrary to our nation’s values, and Kohl’s really isn’t being called out on their part of being in the wrong here.
Mary Fusco says
BW, I may be wrong but I was always under the impression that security could not stop a customer suspected of shoplifting until they had left the store and points of paying for the item. If this woman had been able to show a paid receipt for the items, there would have been no problem whatsoever. It doesn’t matter how much she spent the day before. That merchandise may have also contained stolen items and already returned to the store. If they caught her on camera, she doesn’t have a leg to stand on. If she had a receipt for the items, then and only then could she become indignant. I agree, Kohl’s would have been in the wrong had she paid for the items and was then harassed. You seen to have missed the point that there was receipt showing that the items were paid for.
i worked in retail for multiple years and usually police would be called right away .So if she was kept for that long and no store management was there it is a failure on Kohls side. Also the fact that Kohls commented that the employees aren’t allowed to talk to press yet the employee is the reason behind this story is weird as well.
All things transpire for a reason, sometimes good people make bad decisions. Sometimes, really nasty and bitter people make really bad decisions and that could be karma’s way of trying to take someone really arrogant down a notch or two. Sadly, based on a comment above, that obviously is not the case. The “Alleged” Perp is apparently still blaming others for their shortcomings. Bitterness and Envy will eat you up and cloud your judgement every time.
Wait until the lady is convicted before tearing into her.
Quite a few assumptions being made about Kohl’s management without know all the facts. The alleged shoplifter is claiming Kohl’s held her for 2 hours….other than that there’s no proof this is true. Same with her allegations of the name calling. If the video is indisputable, what better way to have the charges dropped then to hire a lawyer and make allegations that Kohl’s probably wouldn’t want their legal department involved in over a relatively small shoplifting charge. I’ll bet the charges are dropped if the alleged perp agrees not to pursue further legal action regarding the allegations she claims happened.
Shoplifting is a crime including changing price tags on merchandise in the store or slipping items in other packages and not paying for them Value of the item being stolen does not matter. Her conviction will be based on the evidence including the surveillance camera footage. If the accused is found guilty, she will face the consequences. It makes you wonder how desperate are some people to engage in illegal acts especially those who professionals holding licenses and are held to a higher ethical standards. We do not know whether this has been her pattern of behavior over the years and she just ran out of luck this time around. She will have her day in court to explain what really happened. And if she is innocent, she has nothing to fear but Kohl’s on other hand will be should fear a lawsuit if they cannot prove her crime.
Mary Fusco says
When exactly did being a Palm Coast Realtor make anyone a celebrity? If housewife “Jane Doh” did the same thing, would anyone really care? Bottom line is that if security caught her on camera, she is guilty. If security did not have it on camera, then Kohl’s may have some explaining to do. Nothing like turning the tables around to deflect the issue. ” I was held too long, I was called names, etc. etc. If she did take the merchandise, I truly hope that all the legal fees involved and the loss of her reputation were worth it.