Women charged with stealing $6,000 in clothes from OB Center

Chronicle Media

Martasia Barney

Two women are being held in DuPage County Jail after being accused of stealing nearly $6,000 in merchandise from two Oak Brook stores.

Martasia Barney, 26, a resident of the 9500 block of Greenwood Street in Chicago, and Psy’che Hayes, 35, of Dubuque, Iowa, appeared in First Appearance Court on Monday, July 9, each charged with two counts of burglary, a Class 2 felony; two counts of retail theft and two counts of criminal damage to government-supported property, both Class 3 felonies; and two counts of criminal damage to property and one count of aggravated assault, both Class 4 felonies.

Class 2 felonies are punishable by three to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Class 3 felonies are punishable by two to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Class 4 felonies are punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Through the course of an ongoing investigation, officers with the Oak Brook Police Department identified two suspects and a Volvo allegedly involved in the theft of a woman’s wallet on June 25.

Shortly before 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 8, 2024, officers observed two women matching the

Psy’che Hayes

description from the previous theft walking into Oakbrook Center from the True Food Kitchen, which is not located at the mall. It is alleged that the two women, later identified as Barney and Hayes, were carrying empty Forever 21 shopping bags with them.

Officers began surveillance on the Volvo, which was parked with the engine running, lights on, and backed into a parking stall spot. As officers surveilled the Volvo, they observed both suspects return to and enter the Volvo, according to police.

Police then allegedly observed the women exit the Volvo and return to the mall, again carrying their empty Forever 21 shopping bags. When Barney and Hayes again returned to the Volvo, police said, an officer approached them while in his squad car at which time both women ran toward their vehicle and got inside.

The officer activated his emergency lights and sirens and parked his vehicle with the front bumper up to the Volvo’s front bumper to prevent the suspects from fleeing. It is alleged that Barney drove the Volvo into the squad car to flee.

Police said when an officer approached the Volvo, Barney backed up causing the officer to make an evasive move to avoid being driven over by the vehicle. It is further alleged that Barney continued to reverse and crashed into an unoccupied Pontiac G6, pushing it out of the parking stall.

According to police, Barney also struck an unoccupied 2013 Honda Civic parked beside the Pontiac. It is further alleged that Barney crashed into another squad car which had its emergency lights and sirens activated in her attempt to flee.

Officers were able to break out the windows of the Volvo and take Barney and Hayes into custody, police said. When officers arrested Hayes, she allegedly stated that this was “no big thing” and that she “would be out tomorrow.”

Following further investigation, it is alleged that Barney and Hayes entered the Aritzia women’s clothing store at 75 Oakbrook Center, stole approximately $2,714 worth of clothing and then returned to their vehicle. It is alleged that the pair then exited their vehicle, and went to Alo Yoga, located at 68 Oakbrook Center, where they stole approximately $3,282 worth of clothing before returning to their vehicle.

“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. “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.

“We are all thankful that no one was seriously injured during this incident. I commend the Oak Brook Police Department for their outstanding efforts that led to the apprehension of the defendants and for their continued work in keeping our retail establishments safe for employees and patrons alike.”

“The reckless criminal actions of these two offenders are appalling,” Oak Brook Chief of Police Brian Strockis said. “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. I’d like to thank State’s Attorney Berlin and his team for their assistance and guidance on this case.”

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