Elderly Woman Busted For Stealing Goods From Trade Show

(Memphis) An elderly woman faces a couple charges after detectives say she stole from 20 different vendors at an Agricenter trade show.

Lela Smith spent Sunday morning setting up her company`s booth at the Spring Market Show. It’s been a busy weekend for the new business owner at the Agricenter.

“It was crowded, people looking around and over here,” said Smith, owner of Mix-It-Up.

But not all business is good business, in the hustle and bustle Saturday afternoon; investigators say 73-year-old Vivian Chalmers swiped about $1,000 worth of stuff from 20 different vendors.

“They came over and asked if I was missing something. I was like ‘I don’t know,” said Smith.

Smith didn`t know it, but she was missing a pack of ten dollar wine mix.

“When I went over there and saw all the stuff I was like, ‘oh where did she put it,” expressed Smith.

The stuff was hidden in the senior citizen`s purse and bags. Detectives say the unsuspecting elderly woman even stuffed some of the swiped goods in her clothes.

“Jewelry, purses, clothes, scarves, soap, it was amazing,” said Smith.

“I definitely think it`s a violation. We work doing something we like to do. Nobody likes to be stolen from,” said vendor, Melony Bratton.

In this case, security at the show caught Chalmers before she got to the door. Her arrest is keeping the vendors at ease for the last day of the show.

“Somebody`s got your back and watching out for your best interest,” said Bratton.

“We were trusting and letting people come in and out, so we to be a little more careful,” said Smith.

Smith says she’ll be a little more cautious, but the theft isn`t stopping her from selling at trade shows.

Vendors say this wasn’t the only theft at the Spring Market Show this year. They tell News Channel 3, Friday, a woman was busted for stealing about a $100 worth of stuff and hiding it in her wheelchair and prosthetic leg.