Career shoplifter headed to prison after using soft-sided cooler to scoop $20k worth of designer sunglasses

A career shoplifter's days of stealing designer merchandise are over because she is headed to prison.

Defendant Ernesha Atmore made a career of retail theft.

She’s been in and out of prison for stealing thousands of dollars worth of designer goods, but now the tougher laws in Florida have finally caught up to her.

WATCH: Video: K-9 busts Brandon car burglary suspect stashed away inside trash can


Pictured: Ernesha Atmore

Hillsborough State Attorney Suzy Lopez says a theft caught on video a couple of years ago, may have sealed her fate.

"She committed one of the most brazen thefts I’ve heard of. She went into a Sunglass Hut at International Plaza and had a soft-sided cooler, and she just scooped up about $20,000 in designer sunglasses. When the employee said, ‘What are you doing,’ she said, ‘I have a taser.’ And, as you know, a taser is a weapon," explained Lopez.


Atmore used a soft-sided cooler to steal sunglasses.

Atmore was busted days later, and police found a lot of stolen goods in her car.

Because she is a repeat offender, she’s now facing stiffer penalties and decades in prison. Prosecutors offered her a three-year deal, but she rejected it. A jury convicted her and she was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison.


"That’s because the state of Florida has taken a stance on retail theft," said Lopez.

In the last couple of years, the legislature has toughened retail theft laws, upgrading charges from misdemeanors to felonies, tacking on more years to sentences.

READ: 'Bang bang': Clearwater man threatens construction worker with finger gun before grabbing shotgun, police say

But before Atmore was sent away, she had two more theft cases to settle, including a jewelry store theft, where she tried to steal an $8,000 ring from the store.

The judge added six more months to her sentence. Atmore is now going away for 30 years and six months. She won’t be free again until she’s nearly 60 years old.

SIGN UP: Click here to sign up for the FOX 13 daily newsletter