PEORIA -- Shoplifters thought they found a clever way to steal clothing Tuesday from a Northwoods Mall department store.
But security personnel were attracted to the two alleged thieves like a magnet.
About 4 p.m. Tuesday, a JC Penney security officer called Peoria police to inform them she had detained two men in her office. She said the men had grabbed various articles of clothing and gone into the store's fitting room.
Later, the guard observed the men exiting the fitting room without the clothes.
When another Penney employee checked the fitting room, he found one shirt with multiple magnetic security tags attached to it, a police report stated. Missing were two shirts, two pairs of trousers and one pair of shorts.
The security guard suspected the men removed the security tags from the clothes and donned them before they left the fitting room.
The guard stopped one of the men in the parking lot, and a Northwoods officer stopped the other. When police were summoned, the detained men still were wearing the purloined pieces.
Once the police officer arrived, the men told him they were stupid and had done something really stupid, the report stated. They doffed the stolen clothing, and the officer recovered a large magnet on the floor next to them.
Apparently, the suspects used the magnet to remove the security tags.
The shirt to which the tags were affixed was damaged beyond repair, the report stated. The suspects were transported to the Peoria County Jail on charges of retail theft of $300 or less.