Thief stealing purses from yoga classes in Greater Cincinnati

Studio owner's alert leads to arrest

CINCINNATI – Someone has been stealing purses from yoga classes throughout Greater Cincinnati, but one studio owner's alert may have ended the crime spree.

While police tried to figure out if nearly a dozen thefts were related, Missy Tyszkiewicz of Move Your Hyde Power Yoga sent an email to some 60 yoga studios after a thief hit hers in Hyde Park.

Police say that helped lead to an arrest.

"Instead of being embarrassed about what happened, I decided it needed to be bigger than this. It needs to be about the community stopping this person from doing it again," Tyszkiewicz said.

Tyszkiewicz said a woman dressed in yoga gear signed up for a class, put down a mat and then walked out with two purses.

"Within about 30 seconds, the teacher realized she hadn't come back ... so she got up to check on her and realized she was gone," Tyszkiewicz said.

Others said the woman drove off in a bright red vehicle.

About an hour later, a credit card from one of the stolen purses was used at Toys R Us in Kenwood.

After Tyszkiewicz put out the alert, Modo Yoga, a studio in Crescent Springs, Ky., knew to be on the lookout.  Last week, employees called 911 after becoming suspicious of a woman inside.

Police responded and arrested Lashonda Miller, 22. The police report says Miller gave a false name and had a stolen wallet of a yoga student.

Miller does not face any charges in Cincinnati, but police are still investigating.

As a result of the thefts, Tyszkiewicz is making clients pay upfront and offering a separate room for items to be secured.

"We will still be on our guard and I hope the rest of the community got the notice and they will be aware," Tyszkiewicz said. "I don't want to say leery because you never want to be leery of someone new coming into your studio, but just aware."

If you have any information that can help police, call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040