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Woman in theft ring banned from Target for decade

STILLWATER, Minn. -- A Woodbury woman convicted of participating in a theft ring will be prohibited from entering Target stores for 10 years as part of a criminal sentence.

Kristi Jean Hambleton, 24, was sentenced Feb. 6 in Washington County District Court to 10 years of probation and about four months in jail following a felony theft conviction.

Hambleton was among several people tracked by authorities during two months in 2012, when $12,913 in merchandise was stolen from Target stores around the metro area. According to a criminal complaint, the group was responsible for the theft of high-priced electronics and cellphones.

The complaint says the group used stolen security keys that unlocked packaging meant to trip alarms at Target entryways.

Once removed from the secure packaging, the thieves would conceal the electronics inside lower-priced merchandise like coffee makers or fans, the complaint states. The thieves would then purchase the less-expensive items and leave.

Six people were charged in the thefts. Police said Hambleton was responsible for stealing $5,040 in Target goods.

Hambleton’s sentence runs concurrently with an identical sentence on a drug charge.