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Kids' Boutique Owner Arrested for Shoplifting at Whole Foods, Police Say

By Leslie Albrecht | February 28, 2017 7:14pm
 A Park Slope business owner was arrested after stealing more than $1,100 in merchandise from the Gowanus Whole Foods, according to a police report.
A Park Slope business owner was arrested after stealing more than $1,100 in merchandise from the Gowanus Whole Foods, according to a police report.
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

PARK SLOPE — The owner of a well-known chain of children's stores was arrested for shoplifting more than $1,100 in merchandise from the Whole Foods on Third Avenue and Third Street, according to a police report.

Loretta Gendville, owner of Area Kids, was arrested Feb. 10 at 9:55 p.m. after she and Shepherd Lantz, were caught stealing $1,149 in beauty supplies, clothing, food, healthcare items and music (the store sells LPs) from the high-end grocer, police said.

Gendville did not respond to requests for comment. Lantz could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for Whole Foods also did not respond to a request for comment.

Gendville founded the Area Kids chain in 2003, according to the business's website. The mini empire has outposts in Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg and Fort Greene. Stores include Area Kids, Area Play, Area Kicks & Cuts, Area Yoga, and Area Emporium & Spa.

The owner was in the news in 2015 after Hillary Clinton visited the Brooklyn Heights Area Kids store to buy a dress for her granddaughter. Gendville also drew headlines for displaying a Bernie Sanders poster in her Park Slope Area Kids store after Clinton's visit.

Gendville said she supported Sanders because "[h]e’s more, you know, anti-corporation," Gendville told Buzzfeed. "Hillary Clinton is, you know, more in the game with all of the corporations, which I’m against."