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Nederland-Vidor link noted in thefts by Romanian suspects

Vidor police believe a group of Romanian women who are in the country illegally may have a connection to a theft at a Nederland business.

Nederland Police Chief Gary Porter said some individuals went to Comtex Wireless at 3500 Nederland Ave. around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday and did a “distraction style” theft where one person distracts an employee while another steals. With this crime, one person distracted an employee while another went to a secure area and committed a theft.

The manager of the Nederland store alerted the Vidor store of the theft and not long afterward five women and a baby showed up together at the Vidor store.

“The clerk immediately recognized the five women and baby,” Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll said.

Porter said detectives have not seen the video or photos from the Vidor incident and are interested in investigating further.

He said there is a similarity in the modus operandi, or method in the two incidents.

But no arrest was made in Vidor and for good reason.

“There was no arrestable offense for them, nothing was stolen. They were not detained,” Carroll said. “We contacted Homeland Security after we got good identification of them and cut them loose.”

Who they are

The Romanian women were first caught entering the United States in Roma, Texas in 2018 and said they were seeking asylum. Persons in this situation are allowed to stay if they have family or another person in the U.S. who basically says they’ll take responsibility for them — they said they had family or friends in Tennessee.

“Yet here they are living in Houston,” Carroll said.

A deportation hearing is pending.