Two women accused of stealing nearly $6,000 worth of merchandise from Oak Brook stores: prosecutors


A motion was granted Tuesday to detain pre-trial two women accused of stealing nearly $6,000 worth of merchandise from two Oak Brook stores, prosecutors said.

Martasia Barney, 26, of the 9500 block of Greenwood Street, Chicago, and Psy’che Hayes, 35, of Dubuque, Iowa, were charged with two counts of burglary, retail theft, criminal damage to government supported property and criminal damage to property as well as one count of aggravated assault, according to a DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office news release.

During an ongoing investigation, Oak Brook police identified two suspects and a Volvo allegedly involved in the theft of a woman’s wallet on June 25, authorities said.

At about 6:27 p.m. July 8, police saw two women matching the description from the previous theft walking from the True Food Kitchen, which is not located at the mall.

The duo, later identified as Barney and Hayes, allegedly were carrying empty Forever 21 shopping bags. Police began surveillance on the Volvo, which was parked with the engine running and the lights on, according to the release.

Police saw both suspects return to and enter the car. They then exited the car and returned to the mall, again carrying the empty Forever 21 shopping bags, according to the release

When Barney and Hayes again returned to the Volvo, police approached them. The women ran toward their car and got inside. Police parked a squad car in front of the Volvo in an attempt to prevent the suspects from fleeing, according to the release.

Barney allegedly drove the Volvo into the squad car in an attempt to flee. When an officer approached the Volvo, Barney backed up causing the officer to make an evasive move to avoid being driven over by the car, authorities said.

Barney ultimately crashed into an unoccupied Pontiac G6, pushing it out of a parking stall, according to the release. She also allegedly struck an unoccupied 2013 Honda Civic parked next to the Pontiac. She also crashed into another squad car, authorities said.

Police broke the windows of the Volvo and arrested Barney and Hayes.

Following further investigation, authorities learned that Barney and Hayes allegedly entered the Aritzia women’s clothing store, 75 Oak Brook Center, stole about $2,714 worth of clothing and returned to their car. The pair then went to Alo Yoga, 68 Oak Brook Center, where they allegedly stole about $3,282 worth of clothing before returning to their car, according to the release.

“The allegations that these two defendants stole nearly $6,000 worth of merchandise from two Oakbrook Center stores and then, in an effort to escape, crashed their vehicle into four other vehicles, two of which were police squad cars, nearly striking a police officer, are extremely alarming,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release. “The denial of pre-trial release for both Ms. Hayes and Ms. Barney sends the strong message that in DuPage County we will not tolerate the complete and utter disregard for public safety and the rule of law allegedly exhibited by Ms. Barney and Ms. Hayes.”

“The reckless criminal actions of these two offenders are appalling,” Oak Brook Chief of Police Brian Strockis said in the release. “The Oakbrook Center Mall is the premier shopping and dining destination in Illinois, and we are steadfast in our efforts to keep it safe. This was a dangerous incident due to the reckless actions of the offenders, and I’m grateful that no one was seriously hurt.

The next court appearance for both women is scheduled for Aug. 5 for arraignment.