Authorities link woman to $19,000 Berkeley make-up heist


$19,000 worth of products was stolen from the MAC store on Fourth Street. Photo: Fourth Street Shopping

A San Pablo woman is in custody after police linked her vehicle to the theft of more than $19,000 in make-up products from the MAC Cosmetics store on Berkeley’s Fourth Street.

Kristen Hale, 32, is set to appear before an Alameda County judge Thursday for the continuation of her pre-trial hearing in connection with identity theft, receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled substance charges.

According to court documents, surveillance footage from the burglary, on Nov. 19, led police to Hale. A Berkeley Police officer who reviewed the footage said it showed two people get out of a car just before 4 a.m., use a rock to break into the MAC store at 1850 Fourth, and steal the merchandise.

Police got the vehicle’s license plate from the footage, and found that the vehicle was registered to Hale.

On Nov. 26, detectives served a search warrant at Hale’s home. They interviewed Hale’s daughter who said Hale had shown her and her cousin a box of MAC products the prior week and allowed them each to pick out several items for themselves. The items matched the description of some of the make-up that had been stolen from the MAC store, police said.

Officers also said they found a range of stolen property — including credit cards, check books, bank cards, driver’s licenses and a planner listing “over 100 identity theft profiles” — in Hale’s home.

Police said they contacted four victims who said their property had been stolen, and another five people from the planner who each said they had been the victim of identity theft.

Police said Hale denied involvement with the MAC store burglary, but said she often lent her vehicle to other people. She told police she did not remember whom she had lent it to the night of the burglary, according to court papers.

Hale admitted to police that she had committed identity theft, and said the day planner belonged to her, according to court documents.

She also said that she uses drugs; when police arrived they found her with a glass pipe and one gram of methamphetamine on her person.

Hale has been charged with three felonies: identity theft, receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled substance.

According to court papers, she was convicted in 2001 of receiving stolen property, and in 2005 of the unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle. Both crimes took place in Contra Costa County, and she was placed on probation as a result.

Hale is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin with a bail of $70,000 and is scheduled to appear in court, in Department 115, Dec. 12 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland for further pre-trial.

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  • EricPanzer

    Such brazen thievery is enough to make one blush, and seems an unfortunate blemish on the security of Fourth Street. This being Berkeley, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone waxes eloquent on a cover up, or tries to explain the foundation of the criminality. Even though the culprits don’t appear to have been very polished in their approach, we shouldn’t gloss over the consequences of their actions. We could all use a primer on the importance of concealing certain aspects of our identities. The actions of these makeup removers highlight the need to always be vigilant.

    *Mic drop*

  • EarlyMorningCoffee

    Comment of the year.

  • serkes

    As good as it gets!

    So glad you attend that make-up class on superbly crafted puns.

    Me … I’m still trying to grasp the concept of $18K of MAC rather than $18K Mac


  • pinnochio

    Please give us a touch up when the case goes to court.

  • norgedane

    Effing BRILLIANT.

  • TN

    Being a guy, I can’t bend my mind around the idea of $19,000 worth of cosmetics. To me on first impression, it sounded as if it would take a large truck to haul this away. I get it that it was hauled away in a car. Wow.

  • guest

    “Police said Hale denied involvement with the MAC store burglary, but
    said she often lent her vehicle to other people. She told police she did
    not remember whom she had lent it to the night of the burglary
    according to court papers.”

    As ever, genius will out.

  • clownpaint

    Depends on your definition of “worth”. I would pay approximately $0 for the lot, but apparently others are willing to support the retail price. Bunch of worthless face paint.

    Sadly the perp is up against five felonies and a $70K bail..




  • BerkeleyCitizen

    $19K worth of cosmetics? That wasn’t a typo?! I haven’t worn any since the 1980s and don’t see any women around Berkeley wearing it, except on special occasions. Thought the whole cosmetics business died long ago, but I guess not. The thief seems to have racked up quite a record of other offenses, so it’s clearly time for her to be put away for a while.

  • emraguso

    If it was a typo that’s what was in the court document related to the woman’s arrest.

  • guest

    She should have concealed her license plate.